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Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law > Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

What the law says about Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm

Sections 245 (1) of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent, or with the person’s consent if obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts of threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the person’s consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the person’s purpose, is said to assault the other person, and the act is called “assault”.

Section 339 (1) of the Criminal Code states:

Any person who unlawfully assaults another and thereby does him bodily harm is guilty of an offence.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1.  The accused assaulted the complainant; Any person who strikes, touches or moves or otherwise applies force of any kind to the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the person’s consent is said to assault that other person
  2. The assault was unlawful, that is not authorised, justified or excused by law;
  3. The accused thereby did the complainant bodily harm; that is, any bodily injury which interferes with health or comfort.

And in the case of Penalty(B), all the above as well as

  1.  the accused was, or pretended to be, armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument; and/or
  2.  was in company with one or more other persons.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm is 7 years imprisonment.

If the accused does bodily harm and is or pretends to be armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument or is in the company with 1 or more other person or persons the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which may be dealt with in the District Court, or the Magistrates Court at the election of the prosecution.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity
  3. Self Defence or defence of another person
  4. Intoxication
  5. Identification -ie Not the accused person
  6. Consent
  7. Provocation
  8. Injury does not amount to bodily harm

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