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Failure of Parent to Care for Child

Failure of Parent to Care for a Child is an offence under Section 43A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

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

  1. You had parental responsibility for a child
  2. You intentionally or recklessly failed to provide the child with the ‘necessities of life’, and
  3. You did not have a ‘reasonable excuse’ for your conduct

A ‘child’ is defined as a person under the age of 16.

Necessities of life include:

  1. Sufficient nutrition,
  2. Shelter, and
  3. Required medical care

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Necessity

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