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Stealing Property in a Dwelling-House With Menaces

Stealing Property in a Dwelling-House With Menaces is an offence under Section 149 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 stole property
  2. The property was in an dwelling-house
  3. The property belonged to another, and
  4. You threatened or menaced any person in the dwelling-house

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 related to the dwelling-house

‘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 the title or right to any property.

‘Menaces’ includes any express or implied threat of action that is detrimental or unpleasant to any person as long as it would cause an individual of normal stability and courage to act unwillingly in the circumstances, or would cause the particular individual to act unwillingly.

In circumstances where you were aware he or she was vulnerable to that threat.

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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