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Making an Unwarranted Demand in Connecting with Contaminating Goods

Making an Unwarranted Demand in Connection With Contaminating Goods is an offence under section 93N 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 contaminated goods, or you threatened to contaminate goods, or you knowingly made a false statement regarding the contamination of goods
  2. You intended by doing so to cause public alarm or anxiety, or to cause economic loss, through public awareness of the contamination, threatened contamination or false statement, and
  3. You made an unwarranted demand in connection with your act, threat or false statement.

‘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.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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