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Receiving Goods Stolen Outside NSW

Receiving Goods Stolen Outside NSW is an offence under section 189A 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 received, disposed of or attempted to dispose of property
  2. The property had been stolen
  3. The stealing occurred outside New South Wales
  4. You knew the property had been stolen, and
  5. You had no lawful excuse for your conduct.

For the purposes of the offence, property had been stolen if it was “taken, extorted, obtained, embezzled, converted or disposed of” in a way that would amount to an indictable offence if it occurred in NSW.

An ‘indictable offence’ is one that can be referred to a higher court such as the District or Supreme court, this includes larceny, embezzlement, fraud and most other offences of dishonesty.

You cannot be found guilty of the offence if the stealing occurred outside Australia and the act was lawful in the country where it occurred.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Claim of right, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to the property.

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