Difference Between ABH and GBH (With Table)

Hurting or harming a person can lead to a set of severe consequences. Every country has a set of rules and regulations that make people know what exactly can get them punished. The two such punishable harms that an offender can do are the ABH and GBH. These are the forms of crimes that would be heard after in court. The main differences between these two lie in ABH being a minor form of harm, whereas the GBH is the more harmful.

ABH vs GBH

The difference between ABH and GBH is that where the ABH is a milder form of physical injury, the GBH is much harsher and yet more punishable. Intensity is the main parameter used to differentiate between the two. Other differences include the deliberate attempts, condition of victims, number of offenses, max penalty, etc.

ABH is the type of crime that includes giving an injury to a person that is not severe. A weapon may not be used. Also, the person doesn’t intentionally harm the other person. And sometimes, only a force is used that might end up causing injuries. This usually doesn’t require a lot of police intervention, and the matter is seen as trivial; the maximum punishment given is imprisonment for over five years.

GBH is a much more severe type of harm. Here generally, a person is harmed intentionally, and a weapon can be involved. It affects the person who is attacked as they have to face a medical condition. However, this doesn’t cause death in them. Also, the punishment is much more extreme, ranging from life imprisonment to a very high amount of fines. The United Kingdom has different rules regarding how they should be treated.

Comparison Table Between ABH and GBH

Parameters of comparisonABHGBH
SeriousnessIt is a less severe form of injury,It is a more severe form of damage.
Maximum punishmentThe maximum punishment for ABH is imprisonment for five years.The maximum sentence of GBH is life imprisonment and unlimited fines.      
IntentionHere the harm may be unintentionally caused.The harm is intentionally caused in most cases.
Condition of victimThe victim faces minor injuries.The victim needs a considerable amount of medical help.
SectionsIt is present in section 47 of the Offense Against a Person Act.It is present in sections 18 and 20 of the  Offenses Against A Person Act.

What is ABH?

The complete form of ABH is ‘actual bodily harm.’ Just as the name says, it leaves visible damage to a person. Abh is the type of crime that includes giving an injury to a person that is not severe. A weapon may not be used. Also, the person doesn’t intentionally harm the other person. And sometimes, only a force is used that might end up causing injuries. An example of this crime can be when someone is angry at another and slaps him or pushes him.

Also, the punishment that is involved in it is much lower. It can be a certain amount of fine or imprisonment for a maximum period of ten years. The thing that is essential to consider is that the injury doesn’t cause permanent damage. This term is mainly used in European nations and Australia. It is listed in ‘section 47’ in the Offenses Against A Person Act.

Here the proof of the crime is necessary. A person hurt in the process must have proper evidence as to who hurt him, in what manner, whether the attacker was provoked, whether the attack was intentional, pictures of the injury, the amount of damage, and whether they weren’t intoxicated at the time of the crime, are all determining factors which decide as what punishment finally should be given.

What is GBH?

The complete form of Gbh is ‘grievous bodily harm.’ It is a much more severe type of harm. Here generally, a person is harmed intentionally, and a weapon can be involved. It affects the person who is attacked as they have to face a medical condition. However, this doesn’t cause death in them. This can be a part of certain serious offenses, and it’s named do as the amount of damage that is done in it leaves a permanent mark on the physical and mental wellbeing of the person. It is the worst form of physical assault.

In this act, the punishment is much more extreme, ranging from life imprisonment to a very high amount fine. The United Kingdom and Australia have different rules regarding how they should be treated. It is present in sections eighteen and twenty of the  Offence Against A Person Act. The terms associated with it are the wound, the seriousness, and maliciously committing this act.

Also, proof of the crime is necessary. A person who has been hurt in the process must have proper evidence as to who hurt him, in what manner, whether the attacker was provoked, what weapon was involved, pictures of the injury, the amount of damage, and whether they weren’t intoxicated at the time of the crime, and how he needed much medical help. All determining factors decide what punishment finally should be given.

Main Differences Between ABH and GBH

  1. ABH is a less severe form of injury. whereas a GBH is a more severe form of injury
  2. The maximum punishment for ABH is imprisonment for five years. At the same time, the ultimate penalty of GBH is life imprisonment or an unlimited fine.
  3. In ABH, the harm may be unintentionally done; in GBH, the damage is intentional in most cases.
  4. The victim faces minor injuries in ABH. Whereas the victim needs a high amount of medical help in GBH.
  5. The ABH is present in section 47 of the Offenses Against A Person Act. At the same time, GBH is present in sections eighteen and twenty of the  Offence Against A Person Act.

Conclusion

Hurting a person intentionally has always been a crime. However, anger and other strong emotions can also make a personal attack on someone. Injuries may or may not be intended. But using a foreign force against a person is what makes the ABH and GBH crimes. Also, injuries can affect a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

The thing that should be remembered is that the law is always watching who has hurt and offended another person. Also, strong emotions must be kept under check. Also, if a person has felt that a force has been used against him and that has affected him, a complaint with proper proof should be made.

References

1.https://www.jstor.org/stable/2259423

2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09585189908402138

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