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Destroying or Damaging Property With Intent to Injure

Destroying or Damaging Property with Intent to Injure is an offence under Section 196 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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

  1. You destroyed or damaged property, and
  2. You intended by doing so to cause bodily injury to another person

The maximum penalty increases to 9 years in prison where the destruction or damage occurred during a public disorder or 14 years where it was caused by fire or explosives or 16 years where it was during a public disorder and caused by fire or explosives.

A ‘public disorder’ means a riot or other civil disturbance that gives rise to a serious risk to public safety whether at a single location or resulting from a series of incidents in the same or different locations.

A ‘riot’ is where 12 or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and their conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for their personal safety.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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