This article will deal with hurt caused unintentionally through rash or negligent acts. Lack of the intention to cause hurt in these offences differentiates them from the offences involving voluntary causing of hurt (Sections 321 – 334A of the Penal Code).
Section 337 of the Penal Code
Under Section 337 of the Penal Code, whoever causes hurt to any person through a rash or negligent act that endangers human life or the personal safety of others is guilty of an offence. The offender can be punished with:
- an imprisonment term of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $5,000 for a rash act; or
- an imprisonment term of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $2,500 for a negligent act.
Section 338 of the Penal Code
For causing grievous hurt to any person through a rash or negligent act that endangers human life or the personal safety of others, the offender can be charged under Section 338 of the Penal Code and sentenced to:
- An imprisonment term of up to 4 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for a rash act; or
- An imprisonment term of up to 2 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for a negligent act.
Grievous hurt, according to Section 320 of the Penal Code is hurt which results in:
|(c)||permanent loss of the sight of either eye;|
|(d)||permanent loss of the hearing of either ear;|
|(e)||loss of any member or joint;|
|(f)||destruction or permanent impairing of the powers of any member or joint;|
|(g)||permanent disfiguration of the head or face;|
|(h)||fracture or dislocation of a bone;|
|(i)||any hurt which endangers life, or which causes the sufferer to be, during the space of 20 days, in severe bodily pain, or unable to follow his ordinary pursuits;|
|(j)||penetration of the vagina or anus, as the case may be, of a person without that person’s consent, which causes severe bodily pain.|
In determining the seriousness of the above offences, the court will evaluate the harm caused by the offence and the culpability of the offender.
Harm caused by the offence refers to the different levels of personal injury directly sustained by the victim, property damage or disruption caused to the public.
Culpability of the offender is determined by the duration of the act, whether the act was aimed at vulnerable body parts, and whether a weapon was used in the act.
Based on seriousness of the offence and the range of sentences it can impose, the court will then decide on the appropriate sentence.
For more information, please contact our criminal lawyer, Raphael Louis, at 9090 8288.