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This information is provided to make the law and legal rights accessible.
The law is intended to serve everyone and it is important it does so.
Knowledge is, as always, power.
s409 Criminal Code 1899 makes it an offence to commit robbery.
What the prosecution must prove.
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
1. The defendant stole something.
2. The defendant used or threatened to use actual violence to any person or property at the time, immediately before or after, stealing the property.
What it means.
The use of violence can involve any degree of force.
The use or threat of violence must be done for the purpose of either obtaining the thing stolen or preventing or overcoming resistance. For example, assaulting someone to make good an escape after shoplifting would amount to an offence of Robbery.
A fear of violence without a threat is not enough.
The available defences.
Claim of Right
The usual penalties.
The maximum penalty for the criminal offence of Robbery is 14 years imprisonment.
The maximum penalty increases to life imprisonment if it is charged and proved that a defendant:
• Was or pretended to be armed with a weapon.
• Was in the company of others when the offence was committed.
• Uses physical violence of wounds a person at the time of the Robbery or immediately before or after it.
The maximum penalty is a poor numerical indicator of sentences usually imposed. It plays a very important role in setting the seriousness of an offence. The maximum penalty is hardly ever imposed.
Penalties for a first offence of this nature include sentence of imprisonment depending on the circumstances.
Factors that affect the appropriate penalty include the nature of the force used or threatened, the circumstance of the victim and the value of the property.
It is important to seek expert advice before dealing with a criminal offence of Robbery.