The Crimes Act contains a variety of assault-related offences which apply to different situations and circumstances.
Section 60E of the Act deals with assaults committed at schools. Under the law, a ‘school’ refers to a child care facility, an infants’ school, a primary school or a secondary school.
There are several different forms of conduct that may result in prosecution under this section.
Firstly, you may be charged with the offence of ‘assaults at schools’ where it is alleged that you assaulted, stalked, harassed or intimidated a staff member or student whilst they were attending a school, but no actual bodily harm was caused.
The maximum penalty in these situations is five years imprisonment.
If it is alleged that you assaulted, stalked, harassed or intimidated a staff member or student whilst they were attending a school and actual bodily harm was caused, the maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment.
While assaults generally involve some element of unwanted physical contact, the legal definition of assault is ‘any unauthorised touching or any action that causes another person to fear immediate and unlawful personal violence.’
Actions which threaten unwanted physical violence, such as threats, can therefore also be classified as assaults.
Furthermore, where it is alleged that you recklessly wounded or inflicted grievous bodily harm upon a staff member or student at a school, the maximum penalty is 12 years imprisonment.
A wound is an injury that occurs when both layers of the skin are broken, such as a deep cut or a split lip.
Grievous bodily harm refers to ‘really serious harm,’ such as a broken bone or damage to internal organs.
You may also be charged with this offence if it is alleged that you attempted to commit any of the above offences – in these situations the maximum penalty is five years imprisonment.
While these penalties may seem heavy, it’s important to remember that they are maximum penalties only, and will therefore only apply in the most serious cases.
Our experience defence team has years of experience representing clients in serious assault cases and can help you achieve the best possible penalty.
60E Assaults etc at schools
(1) A person who assaults, stalks, harasses or intimidates any school student or member of staff of a school while the student or member of staff is attending a school, although no actual bodily harm is occasioned, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
(2) A person who assaults a school student or member of staff of a school while the student or member of staff is attending a school and by the assault occasions actual bodily harm, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
(3) A person who recklessly by any means:
(a) wounds a school student or member of staff of a school, or
(b) inflicts grievous bodily harm on a school student or member of staff of a school,
while the student or member of staff is attending a school, is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.
(4) A person who enters school premises with intent to commit an offence under another provision of this section is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
(5) Nothing in subsection (1) applies to any reasonable disciplinary action taken by a member of staff of a school against a school student.
Being accused of committing an assault at a school can be a distressing and stressful experience.
But with an expert on your side, you can give yourself the best possible chance at obtaining an outstanding result in your case.
Our lawyers have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most serious assault matters and consistently achieve results superior to those of any other law firm.
We strive to achieve the best result every time – in many cases, our lawyers are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by carefully examining all the evidence to identify problems with the prosecution case.
We can then write to the prosecution highlighting these problems and asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – sparing our clients the time and expense of fighting the charges in court.
Where the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our senior lawyers will fight hard to defend you in court, raising all favourable evidence and examining all witnesses in a strategic manner.
We will also raise any defences to your actions, such as where you were acting in self-defence or where another person threatened or coerced you into committing the offence (duress).
Our senior defence team can also assist you if you wish to plead guilty – in these situations, we can prepare compelling sentencing submissions which emphasise the need for a lenient penalty.
Our ability to obtain outstanding results in even the most serious cases is a reflection of our lawyers’ dedication, experience and expert knowledge.
Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment with us to find out how we can help you win your case.