Assault, Stalk, Harass or Intimidate at a School is an offence under Section 60E of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
An ‘assault’ is where:
Courts must look at any pattern of behaviour when determining whether conduct amounts to stalking.
‘Harassment’ has been defined as pestering, badgering or the persistent application of unwanted pressure.
‘Member of staff’ includes a person who performs voluntary work for the school.
‘School’ includes infant, primary and secondary school as well as child care facilities.
‘School premises’ includes parks and other premises being used by the school.
A defence to the charge is that the conduct amounted to reasonable disciplinary action by a member of staff against a student.
The maximum penalty increases to 7 years in prison where ‘actual bodily harm’ was caused which is harm that is more than ‘transient or trifling’ and includes lasting cuts, bruises and abrasions.
The maximum increases to 12 years where a ‘wound’ or ‘grievous bodily harm’ was caused.
A wound is the breaking of both layers of the skin being the dermis and epidermis and includes a ‘split lip’.
‘Grievous bodily harm’ means ‘very serious harm’ it includes, but is not limited to:
The destruction of a foetus, other than by a medical procedure, any permanent or serious disfiguring, and any grievous bodily disease.
Defences to the charge include:
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