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Threatening to Sabotage

Threatening to sabotage is an offence under section 203C 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 made a threat to another to damage a public facility, and
  2. You intended by doing so to cause the other person to fear that the threat would be carried out, and would cause extensive property destruction or major economic loss.

A ‘threat’ may occur by words or conduct, may be explicit or implicit, may be conditional or unconditional, and may be to an individual or group.

It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the person to whom the threat was made, actually feared the threat would be carried out. An intended fear includes an intended apprehension.

A ‘public facility’ is any of the following, whether publicly or privately owned:

  1. A government facility, including premises used by government employees for official duties
  2. A public infrastructure facility, including for water, sewerage or energy
  3. A public transport facility, whether for persons or goods
  4. A public computer system, including for the provision of banking services, or
  5. A public place.

A ‘public place’ includes a place that is:

  1. Owned by the public, or
  2. Open to the public by way of payment or otherwise.

‘Economic loss’ includes the disruption of government functions or public facilities.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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