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Wilfully Permitting an Escape from Lawful Custody

Wilfully permitting an escape from lawful custody is an offence under section 310F(1) 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 were a correctional centre officer or police officer
  2. You had actual custody of an inmate
  3. You permitted the inmate to escape from lawful custody, and
  4. You did so wilfully.

A ‘correctional centre officer’ includes any person employed by the management company of a managed correctional centre who has custody of an inmate at, or travelling to or from, a correctional centre.

An ‘inmate’ includes:

  1. A person detained in a correctional centre, whether on remand, sentenced or otherwise lawfully detained there, and
  2. A detainee held in an immigration detention centre.

It does not include:

  1. A person in lawful custody for the purpose of serving an intensive correction order, or
  2. A detainee in a youth detention centre.

Wilfully means intentionally.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self defence, which includes the defence of another.

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