1. Positive act (force) constituting a direct physical threat
Stephens v Myers
(1830) (parish meeting) D was excluded from meeting and went for the plaintiff, was 2 people away when he was physically stopped. CJ Tindall: there must in all cases be the means of carrying the threat into effect. Question: whether the defendant was advancing at the time, in a threatening attitude, to strike the chairman, so that his blow would almost immediately have reached the chairman, if he had not been stopped. Held to have been an assault.
- Example: words count as a positive act?
- Words may constitute an assault depending on circumstances
Example: over the phone threat? Yes. Barton v Armstrong
 where D was under duress to sign a deed when a threat of violence was made over the phone. Defendant must have the means and capacity of carrying out the threat