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Assaulting a Law Enforcement Officer (other than a police officer)

Assaulting a Law Enforcement Officer (other than a police officer) is an offence under Section 60A 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:

You assaulted, threw a missile at, stalked, harassed or intimidated a law enforcement officer other than a police officer.

An ‘assault’ is where:

  1. You caused the officer to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence, or you made unauthorised physical contact with the officer
  2. The officer did not consent, and
  3. Your actions were intentional or reckless

A ‘law enforcement officer’ includes:

  1. An ICAC commissioner, assistant commissioner or officer
  2. An officer of the law enforcement conduct commission
  3. A NSW Crime Commission Commissioner, assistant commissioner or staff member
  4. A Corrective services commissioner or governor, or correctional or corrective services officer
  5. A Juvenile Justice officer
  6. A Crown Prosecutor, Acting Crown Prosecutor or DPP lawyer
  7. A Sheriff
  8. A Special Constable or other person recognised as a law enforcement officer under the Police Act, and
  9. An officer of a charity who performs animal cruelty investigations

An action is against a law enforcement officer even if the officer is not on duty if it is carried out due to:

  1. Actions by the officer while executing his or her duty, or
  2. The fact the officer is a law enforcement officer

The maximum penalty increases to 7 years in prison where you inflicted ‘actual bodily harm’ on the officer which is harm that is more than ‘transient or trifling’ and includes lasting cuts, bruises and abrasions.

The maximum increases to 12 years in prison where you inflicted ‘grievous bodily harm’ (GBH) or ‘wounded’ the officer.

GBH is defined as ‘very serious harm’. It includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Any permanent or serious disfiguring
  2. The destruction of a foetus, other than by a medical procedure, and
  3. Any grievous bodily disease

A ‘wound’ is the breaking of both layers of the skin being the dermis and epidermis and includes a ‘split lip’.

Defence to the charge include:

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

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