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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

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Jake and Liam are arrested for affray after a confrontation at a nightclub in London. Although Jake used threatening language, he argues that they cannot be guilty of affray as their conduct wasn't threatening. Which of the following statements best describes the legal position?

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According to the Public Order Act 1986, a person is guilty of affray if they use or threaten unlawful violence towards another and their conduct would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their personal safety. Therefore, in addition to words, the conduct of the accused is also relevant in determining liability for affray. Words alone are insufficient unless they are accompanied by threatening behaviour that would cause fear of violence. 

Key Point: Under the Public Order Act 1986, both the words and the conduct of an individual are relevant when determining liability for affray. It is the combination of these elements that must create a fear of personal safety in a reasonable bystander.

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