Stephens v Myers  EWHC J37
The plaintiff was the chairman at a meeting where he sat at the head of the table and was about six persons away from the defendant. Following the interruptions from the defendant, a motion to turn out the defendant from the meeting gained support but the defendant resisted, stating that he would rather pull the chairman out of the chair than be turned out. With a clenched fist, the defendant approached the plaintiff but was stopped by another before he could get close enough to hit the plaintiff. Witnesses said it looked like the plaintiff was approaching with the intention to hit the defendant.
1. Whether or not the actions of the defendant constituted an assault.
1. The actions of the defendant constituted an assault.
Per Tindal C.J, an action constitutes an assault if there is a means of carrying out the threat into effect, and not actually carrying out the threat. That an assault would exist in the present case if the defendant was moving in a threatening attitude to strike the plaintiff and would have done so had he not been stopped. The jury found that the defendant was moving in such a manner that he would have hit the plaintiff had he not been stopped.