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Threatening or Intimidating Victims or Witnesses

Threatening or intimidating victims or witnesses is an offence under section 315A 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 threatened to do or cause, or did or caused, any injury or detriment to another, and
  2. You did so intending to influence any person not to bring material information about an indictable offence to the attention of police or another appropriate body.

‘Material information’ is that which may be of material assistance in securing the arrest of a person who has committed an indictable offence, or the prosecution or conviction of such a person.

An ‘indictable offence’ is one that can be referred to a higher court such as the District or Supreme Court, and normally relates to crimes that carry a maximum penalty of more than 2 years in prison.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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