Causing Dog To Inflict GBH
In New South Wales it is an offence to do something which causes a dog to attack another person, causing that person really serious injury. The offence is known as causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm. The maximum penalty for causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm is 10 years imprisonment.
The Offence of Causing Dog to Inflict Grievous Bodily Harm
The offence of is contained in s 35A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:
A person who:
- Has control of a dog, and
- Does any act that causes the dog to inflict grievous bodily harm on another person, and
- Is reckless as to the injury that may be caused to a person by the act,
is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.
What Actions Might Constitute Causing Dog to Inflict GBH?
Examples of this offence include:
- Tormenting a dog, getting the dog angry and directing the dog to attack a person; or
- Letting a dangerous or aggressive dog that is barking incessantly at a person off its leash.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict a person the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That they had control of a dog;
- That they did an act;
- That the act caused the dog to inflict harm on another person;
- That the harm amounted to grievous bodily harm (really serious injury); and
- That either the accused intended for the dog to inflict grievous bodily harm or were reckless as to what injury might be caused to the person.
A person charged with this offence may argue in their defence that:
- They did not have control of the dog;
- The dog did not cause harm that amounts to GBH;
- They acted in self-defence;
- They did not act intentionally or recklessly.
The offence will likely be dealt with in the Local Court, however the DPP or the defendant can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.