Section 471.1 Criminal Code Act | Theft of Mail


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The Legislation

Section 471.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Theft of Mail and is extracted below.

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471.1 Theft of mail-receptacles, articles or postal messages

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) the person dishonestly appropriates:

(i) a mail-receptacle; or

(ii) an article in the course of post (including an article that appears to have been lost or wrongly delivered by or on behalf of Australia Post or lost in the course of delivery to Australia Post); or

(iii) a postal message; and

(b) the person does so with the intention of permanently depriving another person of the mail-receptacle, article or postal message.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.

Dishonesty

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person’s appropriation of a mail-receptacle, article or postal message may be dishonest even if the person or another person is willing to pay for the mail-receptacle, article or postal message.

Intention of permanently depriving a person of a mail-receptacle, article or postal message

(3) For the purposes of this section, if:

(a) a person appropriates a mail-receptacle, article or postal message without meaning another permanently to lose the thing itself; and

(b) the person’s intention is to treat the thing as the person’s own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights;

the person has the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), a borrowing or lending of a thing amounts to treating the thing as the borrower’s or lender’s own to dispose of regardless of another’s rights if, and only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal.