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Escaping from Lawful Custody

Escaping from lawful custody is an offence under section 310D of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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

  1. You were an inmate in lawful custody, and
  2. You escaped from lawful custody, or you attempted to escape from lawful custody, or you failed to return to lawful custody after the expiry of your temporary release for the purposes of the offence, an ‘inmate’ includes:
  3. A person detained in a correctional centre whether on remand, sentenced or otherwise lawfully detained there, and
  4. A detainee held in an immigration detention centre.

It does not include:

  1. A person in lawful custody for the purpose of serving an intensive correction order, or
  2. A detainee in a youth detention centre.

Section 57 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 provides that any sentence for the offence must be served ‘cumulatively’, which means after the end of any existing period of imprisonment.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self defence, which includes the defence of another.

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