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Using a Carriage Service to Threaten Serious Harm

Using a Carriage Service to Threaten Serious Harm is an offence under Section 474.15(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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

  1. You used a carriage service
  2. Your use included a threat to cause serious harm to another person, and
  3. You intended the other person to fear that the threat would be carried out against them or another person

The prosecution does not need to prove that the other person actually feared the threat would be carried out.

‘Fear’ includes apprehension.

‘Threat to cause serious harm’ includes to substantially contribute to such harm.

A ‘carriage service’ is defined as:

‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’ which includes telephone calls, text messages and internet transmissions, such as emails and the use of social media sites.

Defences to the charge include:

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

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