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Rescuing an Inmate from Lawful Custody

Rescuing an inmate from lawful custody is an offence under section 310B 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 rescued a person from lawful custody, or you attempted to rescue a person from lawful custody
  2. You did so by the use of force, and
  3. The person was an inmate.

For the purposes of the offence, an ‘inmate’ includes:

  1. A person detained in a correctional centre, whether on remand, sentenced or otherwise lawfully detained there, and
  2. A detainee held in an immigration detention centre.

It does not include:

  1. A person in lawful custody for the purpose of serving an intensive correction order, or
  2. A detainee in a youth detention centre.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self-defence, which includes the defence of another.

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