Robbery In Brisbane
Robbery occurs when a person uses violence during the course of stealing property. It is a composite offence, as it is both a property offence and a violent offence. Robbery in Brisbane and the rest of Queensland is contained in Section 409 of the Criminal Code Act 1899. The Act also contains several related offences.
Proving robbery in Brisbane
For an accused to be found guilty of robbery, the prosecution must prove that the person used or threatened to use violence to obtain property or to overcome resistance by the victim. A person can be found guilty of robbery even if the amount of violence used was very small and even if the item stolen is worth very little.
Penalty for robbery
Section 411 provides that a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 14 years applies to the offence of robbery. If a robbery is committed under circumstances of aggravation, more severe penalties apply. A robbery occurs under circumstances of aggravation if any of the following applies:
- The person was armed (or pretended to be armed) with an offensive weapon;
- The person was in company with one or more other persons;
- The person used personal violence on a person or wounded a person.
Offensive weapons include knives, guns and swords as well as items that are not generally used as a weapon if the item is used as a weapon. This could be a cricket bat, stick or book.
Robbery offences are strict indictable offences that can only be finalised in the District Court. If an adult is charged with robbery in Brisbane or elsewhere in Queensland, they must go through a committal proceeding in the Magistrates Court.
At a committal proceeding, the court will review the evidence against the accused and make an assessment as to whether the matter should proceed. If there is sufficient evidence for the matter to proceed, it is committed to the District Court. If there is not sufficient evidence to support a finding of guilt, the matter will be dismissed.
If a person under the age of 18 is charged with robbery, the committal proceeding will be held in the Children’s Court.
Attempted robbery in Brisbane
If a person assaults another person with intent to steal and uses violence or the threat of violence to try to achieve the theft or in an attempt to overcome the victim’s resistance, they are guilty of attempted robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years.
If a person attempts robbery under circumstances of aggravation, they may be imprisoned for up to 14 years. If a person is wounded with an offensive weapon, they are liable to imprisonment for life.
Assault with intent to steal
Under Section 413 of the Act, assault with intent to steal is an offence punishable by imprisonment for up to three years. This is a lesser offence than attempted robbery and applies where a person is asaulted but no other steps are taken to complete a robbery.
Demanding property with menaces
Another charge that is related to the charge of robbery but less serious than robbery is the offence of demanding property with menaces with intent to steal. It is contained in section 414 of the Act. If a person demands property from another person with threats of injury or any detriment if the victim does not yeild to the demand, they are liable to imprisonment for up to three years.
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