ASSAULTS RELATING TO GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM & WOUNDING

There are three main offences involving the infliction of grievous bodily harm, all of which can be considered a form of assault:

  • Wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent;
  • Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm; and
  • Causing grievous bodily harm by unlawful or negligent act.

In NSW offences relating to grievous bodily harm are set out in sections 33 and 54 of the Crimes Act 1900.

‘Grievous bodily harm’ means a really serious injury that, if left untreated, could be life threatening or cause permanent injury to health.

Examples of grievous bodily harm include a broken bone, a serious burn or transmission of a grievous bodily disease.

Wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent

Wounding any person or causing grievous bodily harm with intent to any person is an offence under section 33(1) of the Crimes Act 1900.

‘Wounding’ is an injury where the skin is broken. More than the top layer of the skin must be broken by the act which makes up the assault for it to amount to wounding.

In order to prove this offence the prosecution must establish the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused wounded or caused grievous bodily harm to another person; and
  2. That they intended to cause grievous bodily harm to that person.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.

Wounding or Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm

Wounding or recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to any person is an offence against section 35(2) of the Crimes Act 1900.

In order to prove this offence the prosecution must establish the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the accused wounded or inflicted grievous bodily harm to another person; and
  2. Was reckless as to inflicting grievous bodily harm to that person.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment, and if committed in company, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.

Causing grievous bodily harm by unlawful or negligent act

Negligently causing grievous bodily harm is an offence under section 54 of the Crimes Act 1900.

In order to prove this offence the prosecution must establish the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the accused, by any unlawful or negligent act, or omission;
  2. Caused grievous bodily harm to another person.

Negligently causing grievous bodily harm means that even if the accused did not intend to cause another person harm or injury, they could be charged if their actions fell short of a reasonable standard of care.

Alternatively, causing grievous bodily harm by an unlawful act requires an action that is both contrary to law and that is inherently dangerous.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment.

If you have been charged with an assault related offence, call Karnib & Co Lawyers at any time on 0450503696 or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free consultation. For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye, Zoom and FaceTime anywhere around the world.