Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997

Interpretation.

1

1. (1) In this Act—

contaminated blood” means blood which is contaminated with any disease, virus, agent or organism which if passed into the blood stream of another could infect the other with a life threatening or potentially life threatening disease;

contaminated fluid” means fluid or substance which is contaminated with any disease, virus, agent or organism which if passed into the blood stream of another could infect the other with a life threatening or potentially life threatening disease;

contaminated syringe” means a syringe which has in it or on it contaminated blood or contaminated fluid;

harm” means harm to body or mind and includes pain and unconsciousness;

member of the family” in relation to a person, means the spouse, a child (including step-child or adopted child), grandchild, parent, grandparent, step-parent, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the person or any person cohabiting or residing with him or her;

property” means property of a tangible nature, whether real or personal, including money and animals that are capable of being stolen;

public place” includes any street, seashore, park, land or field, highway and any other premises or place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise, and includes any train, vessel, aircraft or vehicle used for the carriage of persons for reward;

serious harm” means injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious disfigurement or substantial loss or impairment of the mobility of the body as a whole or of the function of any particular bodily member or organ;

street” includes any road, bridge, lane, footway, subway, square, court, alley or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not, which is for the time being open to the public; and the doorways, entrances and gardens abutting on a street and any ground or car-park adjoining and open to a street, shall be treated as forming part of a street;

syringe” includes any part of a syringe or a needle or any sharp instrument capable of piercing skin and passing onto or into a person blood or any fluid or substance resembling blood.

(2) For the purposes of sections 17 , 18 and 19 it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly held but the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for the belief is a matter to which the court or the jury is to have regard, in conjunction with any other relevant matters, in considering whether the person honestly held the belief.

(3) In this Act—

( a) a reference to any enactment shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended or extended by or under any subsequent enactment including this Act,

( b) a reference to a section is a reference to a section of this Act unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended,

( c) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.