What the law says
Sections 2.7050 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code states:
29. (1) Any person who intentionally destroys or damages any property, whether real or personal, belonging to the Commonwealth or to any public authority under the Commonwealth, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), absolute liability applies to the physical element of circumstance of the offence, that the property is property belonging to the commonwealth or to any public authority under the Commonwealth.
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.
The accused intentionally destroyed or damaged any property, whether real or personal, belonging to the Commonwealth or to any public authority under the Commonwealth.
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.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property is 10 years imprisonment.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is Commonwealth Offence which means it is dealt with in the District Court or the Magistrates Court at the election of the prosecution.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
- The accused did not intentionally destroy or damage the property.
- Identification i.e. it was not the accused
- The property did not belong to the Commonwealth or any public authority under the Commonwealth.