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Causing Bodily Injury by Gunpowder or Other Substance

Causing Bodily Injury by Gunpowder or Other Substance is an offence under Section 46 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 caused an explosion of gunpowder or other substance, or you used a corrosive fluid or other destructive matter
  2. By doing so, you burned, maimed, disfigured, disabled or caused grievous bodily harm to another person, and
  3. You did so intentionally or recklessly

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
You are ‘reckless’ if you foresaw the possibility of harming another person but you went ahead with your actions regardless.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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