Robbery In Perth
Robbery in Perth and elsewhere in Western Australia is outlined in the Criminal Code 1913 (‘the Code’). Robbery is a composite offence, which means that it is both a violent offence and a property offence. Robbery offences are indictable offences that must be finalised in the District Court after proceeding through a committal hearing in the summary jurisdiction (Magistrates Court or Children’s Court). This article outlines the law surrounding the offence of robbery in Perth and the rest of WA.
Definition of robbery In Perth
Section 392 of the Code provides that it is an offence to steal a thing and use or threaten violence against a person or property immediately before or at the time of stealing in order to:
- obtain the thing being stolen; or
- overcome resistance.
This offence is called robbery and is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. However, if a robbery in Perth or elsewhere in WA occurs in circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty that applies is increased to imprisonment for 20 years. If the accused has or pretends to have a dangerous or offensive weapon in their possession, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for life.
Robbery in circumstances of aggravation
A robbery or associated charge is aggravated if immediately before or at or immediately after the commission of the offence the accused:
- was in company with one or more other persons; or
- threatened to kill a person; or
- did bodily harm to a person; or
- threatened violence against someone aged 60 or older.
Assault with intent to rob
Section 393 of the Code makes it an offence to use or threaten to use violence against another person in order to obtain a thing or to prevent resistance to its theft. This is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
Assault with intent to rob is related to the offence of robbery but unlike in a robbery, the theft is not completed. If this offence occurs under circumstances of aggravation or if the person is armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon (or pretends they are armed), the maximum penalty that applies is 14 years imprisonment.
Where the offender is armed with a weapon AND commits the offence under circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty is increased to life imprisonment.
The offence of demanding a thing with intent to steal it with threats of injury or other detriment if the demand is not complied with is contained in section 396 of the Code. It is punishable by a maximum of three years imprisonment.
The offence of demanding a thing from a person with threats of injury or detriment if the demand is not yielded and with the intent to extort or gain something is set out in section 397. Under that provision, a person is liable to a maximum of to 14 years imprisonment.
Section 398 of the Code contains a related offence. Under that section, it is an offence to, with intent to extort or gain a thing from another person, to:
- accuse or threaten to accuse them of an indictable offence; or
- threaten to have a person accused by someone else of an indictable offence; or
- cause a person to receive a written accusation of an indictable offence.
If the accusation relates to an offence with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or to the indecent assault of a male, a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment applies. In other cases, the maximum penalty is 14 years.
If you require legal advice or representation in relation to robbery in Perth or in any other legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.