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Riot

Riot is an offence under section 93B of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

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

  1. You were one of twelve or more persons present together
  2. You used or threatened unlawful violence
  3. You intended to use violence or were aware your conduct was violent
  4. The conduct of your group was for a common purpose, and
  5. The conduct of your group as a whole would cause a person of reasonable firmness who might be present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety.

The section makes clear that:

  1. It is immaterial whether you used or threatened unlawful violence at the same time as other members of the group
  2. No person/s other than your group’s members need actually be present at the scene
  3. The offence can occur in public as well as private places, and
  4. The ‘common purpose’ may be inferred from the conduct of the group as a whole.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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