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Breaking, Entering and Assaulting With Intent to Murder

Breaking, Entering and Assaulting with Intent to Murder is an offence under section 110 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

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

  1. You broke into and entered a dwelling house or a building belonging to it and while there
  2. You assaulted another person with intent to murder, or you inflicted grievous bodily on another person.

The Crimes Act does not define the words ‘broke into’ however, the courts have found that it means to ‘forcibly gain entry’ and can include:

  1. Unlocking a door or window
  2. Pushing open a closed but unlocked door
  3. Opening a closed but unlocked window, and
  4. Raising a latch or loosening a fastening to secure entry.

The courts have found that it may not include:

  1. Walking through an open door, or
  2. Further opening a window that is already significantly ajar.

A ‘dwelling-house’ includes:

  1. A building or other structure intended for occupation even if it has never been occupied
  2. A boat or vehicle in which a person resides, and
  3. A building or structure that is ancillary to a dwelling-house, which is occupied or whose use is related to the dwelling-house.

A ‘building’ includes a vehicle, vessel, tent or temporary structure.

Grievous bodily harm’ means ‘very serious harm’, it includes, but is not limited to:

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

Defences to the charge include:

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

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