What is GBH, is it a criminal offence in the UK and why was Dr Evil charged when he had customer’s consent?

A TATTOOIST who calls himself “Dr Evil” was charged with three counts of GBH even though he received consent to do so.

We explain what GBH is, if it is a criminal offence in the UK and why was Dr Evil charged even though he had his customer’s consent.

Brendan McCarthy at his ‘Dr Evil’ emporium in Wolverhampton
PA:Press Association

What is GBH?

Grievous bodily harm (GBH) is a criminal offence under Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861.

It is a more serious crime than ABH, as committing GBH means causing really serious injuries which severely affect the health of the victim, such as broken bones or permanent disfigurement. It’s the most serious form of non-fatal assault.

Unlike ABH, there is a question of intent. Section 18 GBH offences involve some aspect of intent, while section 20 offences are still unlawful and malicious, but lack the intent to cause really serious injury.

Intent can be shown through, for example, threats, deliberately using a weapon, or planning the attack.

McCarthy has admitted to three counts of GBH with intent, despite his customers giving consent
PA:Press Association
One of McCarthy’s clients was left with this severed ear
SWNS:South West News Service

Is it a criminal offence in the UK?

For GBH, if you are convicted under section 20 in a Crown Court, the maximum penalty is five years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

If you are convicted in a Magistrates’ Court, the maximum penalty is six months behind bars and/or a fine.

But if you are convicted of GBH under section 18, you can only be tried in a Crown Court and the maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

Why was Dr Evil charged with three charges of GBH?

Brendan McCarthy, 50, confessed to three charges of GBH for a tongue-splitting procedure, removing an ear and cutting off a nipple

The procedures were carried out on three separate clients at Dr Evil’s Body Modification Emporium in Wolverhampton.

McCarthy performed all the procedures without atheistic.

He pleaded guilty on February 12 after a two-year legal battle in which he claimed he had a legal defence because his clients signed consent forms.

Three judged dismissed the claim saying it was not in the public interest that a person could wound another person for no good reason.

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