There are certain key Sections that cover Assaults NSW Crimes Act (1900). These Sections include:
Assaults are criminal offences involving the intentional application of force or threat of force upon another person, causing them to fear immediate harm. In NSW, assaults are categorised into different levels based on their severity and the resulting harm. These levels include:
Common assault refers to causing an individual to fear physical harm, even if no physical contact occurs. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm involves causing physical harm that is more than trivial, leading to injuries requiring medical attention. Assault causing grievous bodily harm is the most severe, resulting in life-threatening injuries or significant and lasting damage to the victim’s health.
NSW has strict laws and penalties for assault offences. Penalties vary depending on the level of assault and whether aggravating factors are present, such as the use of weapons or prior criminal history. Penalties can range from fines to imprisonment, with more severe assaults attracting longer prison sentences.
Law enforcement agencies and the NSW justice system take assaults seriously, aiming to protect individuals from harm and ensuring the community remains safe. The legal process involves investigation, charges, court proceedings, and potential convictions. Support services and legal representation are available to both victims and accused individuals throughout the process to ensure a fair and just resolution.
In this blog, we will cover the topic of Assaults in NSW Crimes Act. Assault is any act that causes physical harm or any unwanted physical contact to another person. Division 8, under Part 3 of NSW Crimes Act (1900) is about assaults among NSW Crimes.
Section 56: Obstructing Member of the Clergy in Discharge of his or her Duties
This Section states that whosoever –
- by threats or force prevents, or endeavours to prevent, any member of the clergy, or other person duly authorised in that behalf, from officiating in a place of divine worship, or from the performance of his or her duty in the lawful burial of the dead in a burial-place, or
- strikes, or offers any violence to, any member of the clergy, or minister engaged in, or to the knowledge of the offender about to engage in, any of the duties aforesaid, or going to perform the same,
shall be liable to imprisonment for two years. In this Section, place of divine worship includes any building or structure ordinarily used for Divine worship.
Section 57: Assaults NSW Crimes on Persons Preserving Wreck
This Section states that anyone who injures or attacks a person carrying out their duty to save a distressed vessel or its contents, whether stranded, cast on shore, or underwater, with the purpose of obstructing them, or actually obstructs them, can be sentenced to seven years of imprisonment.
Section 58: Assaults NSW Crimes with Intent to Commit Serious Indictable Offence
According to this Section, whoever:
- assaults any person with intent to commit a serious indictable offence, or
- assaults any person, with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any person for any offence,
shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
Section 59: Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
According to Section 59 on assaults NSW Crimes:
- Whosoever assaults any person, and thereby occasions actual bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
- A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (1) in the company of another person or persons
A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
Actual bodily harm can include any hurt or injury that affects the health and comfort of the victim. Note that it need not be a physical injury, and can also include psychiatric illnesses that the assault causes. For instance, anxiety disorder or extreme depressive illness.
Section 59A: Assault During Public Disorder
- A person who assaults any person during a large-scale public disorder, although not occasioning actual bodily harm, is liable to imprisonment for five years.
- A person who assaults any person during a large-scale public disorder, and by the assault occasions actual bodily harm is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
Section 61: Common Assault Prosecuted by Indictment
This Section states that whoever assaults any person, although not occasioning actual bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
This means that a common assault involves no injury or less serious injuries that does not require a lot of medical treatments. Even a threat of violence can fall under common assault if the party who made the threat also has the ability to carry the threat out. Note that even making a threat that creates immediate fear may constitute an assault.
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