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Stealing from Vessels in Port, or from Docks, Wharfs or Quays

Stealing from Vessels in Port, or from Docks, Wharfs or Quays is an offence under Section 152 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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

  1. You stole property, and either
  • The property was in a vessel, barge or boat that was in any port or haven or on any navigable river or canal or in any creek or basin belonging to, or communicating with, any such port, haven, river or canal, or
  • That property was on a dock, wharf or quay

‘Property’ encompasses every description of real and personal property including goods, chattels, money, valuable securities, debts, legacies, and deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing title or right to, any property.

‘Vessel’ includes anything used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on, under or immediately above water.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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