Wilson vs Pringle

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http://www.lawteacher.net/jurisprudence/essays/trespass-to-person.php#ixzz2Zf4KlLwK
Wilson V Pringle [1986] 2 All ER 440
The plaintiff and the defendant were two schoolboys involved in an incident in a school corridor as the result of which the plaintiff fell and suffered injuries. The plaintiff issued a writ claiming damages and alleging that the defendant had committed a trespass to the person of the plaintiff. In his defence the defendant admitted that he had indulged in horseplay with the plaintiff and on the basis of that admission the plaintiff applied for summary judgment under RSC Ord 14. The registrar refused to enter judgment but on appeal by the plaintiff the judge held that the defendant had admitted that his act had caused the plaintiff to fall and in the absence of any allegation of express or implied consent the defence amounted to an admission of battery and consequently an unjustified trespass to the person. He accordingly gave the plaintiff leave to enter Judgment. The defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal, contending that the essential ingredients of trespass to the person were a deliberate touching, hostility and an intention to inflict injury, and therefore horseplay in which there was no intention to inflict injury could not amount to a trespass to the person. The plaintiff contended that there merely had to be an intentional application of force, such as horseplay involved, regardless of whether it was intended to cause injury.
Held - An intention to injure was not an essential ingredient of an action for trespass to the person, since it was the mere trespass by itself which was the offence and therefore it was the act rather than the injury which had to be intentional. However, the intentional act, in the form of an intentional touching or contact in some form, had to be proved to be a hostile touching, and hostility could not be equated with ill-will or malevolence, or governed by the obvious intention shown in acts like punching,

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