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Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm is an offence under Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison or 7 years where committed with another person.

To prove the offence, the prosecution must establish each of the following:

  1. That you committed an act of violence towards another person, and
  2. The act caused physical injuries that were more than ‘transient or trifling’, or the act caused very serious mental harm, and
  3. The other person did not consent to the act, and
  4. Your actions were intentional or reckless.

Examples of Actual Bodily Harm include:

  • a deep scratch or lasting bruises
  • a ‘black eye’
  • a psychiatric condition

The defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-Defence
  2. Duress
  3. Necessity, and
  4. Lawful correction of a minor

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