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Assaulting a Crew Member on an Aircraft or Vessel

Assaulting a Crew Member on an Aircraft or Vessel is an offence under section 206 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

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

  1. You were on an aircraft or vessel
  2. You assaulted or threatened violence against a member of the crew, and
  3. You thereby interfered with the functions or duties of the crew member in connection with the safe operation of the aircraft or vessel, or you thereby diminished the ability of the crew member to perform his or her functions or duties.

An ‘aircraft’ is any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air.

A ‘vessel’ is a water craft of any description that is capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

A ‘member of the crew’ is any person with functions or duties on board an aircraft or vessel.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self defence.

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