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Causing Death or Grievous Bodily Harm by Contaminating Goods

Causing Death or Grievous Bodily Harm by Contaminating Goods is an offence under section 930 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 contaminated goods, or you threatened to contaminate goods
  2. You intended by doing so to cause public alarm or anxiety, or to cause economic loss, through public awareness of your actions
  3. Your actions caused death or grievous bodily harm to another person, and
  4. You intended to cause death or harm to through your actions.

‘Contaminate’ includes:

Interfering with goods or making it appear that goods have been interfered with ‘Goods’ includes all substances and articles, whether or not for human consumption, whether or not incorporated or mixed with other goods, and whether natural or manufactured.

‘Economic loss’ includes:

Members of the public not purchasing the goods or similar goods.

An ‘unwarranted demand’ is one which you did not have reasonable grounds to make.

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

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

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence, including the defence of others
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity.

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