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Injuring a Child at Birth

Injuring a Child at Birth is an offence under Section 42 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

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

  1. You inflicted grievous bodily harm on a child
  2. You did so intentionally or recklessly, and
  3. The harm was inflicted at the time of the child’s birth

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

Any permanent or serious disfiguring, and any grievous bodily disease.

You were ‘reckless’ if you foresaw the possibility of inflicting harm, which means you realised it may occur, but you went ahead with your actions regardless.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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