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Abducting a Child

Abducting a Child is an offence under Section 87 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You took or detained a child
  2. Your intention was to remove or keep the child from the lawful custody of a person with parental responsibility for the child, and
  3. You did not have the consent of the person with parental responsibility

A ‘child’ is defined as a person under the age of 12 years.

‘Detaining a child’ includes causing them to remain where they are, and ‘Taking a child’ includes causing a child to be taken.

A ‘person with parental responsibility’ includes:

  1. A person with all legal duties, powers, responsibilities and authority over the child, and
  2. A person authorised under the law to be the child’s carer

Defences to the charged include:

  1. Self-defence, which includes the defence of the child, and
  2. Duress

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