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Recklessly Causing Grievous Bodily Harm

Recklessly Causing Grievous Bodily Harm is an offence under Section 35 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 caused grievous bodily harm to another person, and
  2. You did so recklessly

‘Grievous bodily harm’ (GBH) is defined as ‘very serious harm’ it includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Any permanent or serious disfigurement
  2. The destruction of a foetus, other than by a medical procedure, and
  3. Any grievous bodily disease

You are ‘reckless’ if you foresaw the possibility of inflicting GBH which means you realised GBH may possibly be  inflicted, but you went ahead with your actions regardless.

The maximum penalty increases to 14 years in prison where you committed the offence with another person or persons.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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