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Stealing Plants in Pleasure-Grounds

Stealing Plants in Pleasure-Grounds is an offence under Section 140 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

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

  1. You stole or damaged with intent to steal the whole or any part of a tree, sapling, shrub, plant or underwood
  2. The property was growing in a pleasure-ground, garden, orchard, park, avenue or any ground belonging to a dwelling-house, and
  3. The property did not belong to you

A ‘dwelling-house’ includes:

  1. A building or other structure intended for occupation even if it has never been occupied
  2. A boat or vehicle in which a person resides, and
  3. A building or structure that is ancillary to a dwelling-house, which is occupied or whose use is ancillary to the dwelling-house.

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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