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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your representation and help. Fingers crossed for the next step and parole. I just want to say that from the first phone call to your office, your service has been outstanding and have put my mind at ease. I am glad I picked your number to ring.
Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Is Blackmail A Crime? (NSW)
Is blackmail a crime? The answer is yes. The offence of blackmail is committed when one person makes a demand on another person for specified property, and that demand is accompanied by threat or force.
Section 249K(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 codifies the offence of blackmail as where a person makes any unwarranted demand with menaces with the intention to:
- obtain a gain or cause a loss
- influence the exercise of a public duty.
It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
The maximum increases to 14 years imprisonment where the person threatens to commit a serious indictable offence, such as robbery or assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Section 249L states a demand is considered unwarranted “unless the person believes that he or she has reasonable grounds for making the demand and reasonably believes that the use of the menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand”.
“Menaces” is defined by Section 249M to include:
- an express or implied threat of any action detrimental or unpleasant to another person, and
- a general threat of detrimental or unpleasant action that is implied because the person making the unwarranted demand holds a public office.
A threat against an individual does not constitute a menace unless it would cause:
- an individual of normal stability and courage to act unwillingly in response to the threat, or
- the particular individual to act unwillingly in response to the threat and the person who makes the threat is aware of the vulnerability of the particular individual to the threat.
A threat against a government or body corporate does not constitute a menace unless it would:
- ordinarily cause an unwilling response, or
- cause an unwilling response because of a particular vulnerability of which the person making the threat is aware.
In any case, it is immaterial whether the menaces relate to action to be taken by the person making the demand.
Section 249N defines “gain, ”obtaining a gain”, “loss” and “causing a loss”.
A “gain” is defined as a gain in money or other property, temporarily or permanently, and “obtaining” means for oneself or another. A “loss” is defined as a loss in money or other property, temporarily or permanently, and “causing” means causing a loss to another.
Section 249O defines “public duty” as a power, authority, duty or function conferred upon the person as the holder of a public office or that a person holds themselves out as having as the holder of a public office.
What actions might constitute blackmail?
A person can be convicted of blackmail even if the benefit was never obtained or the threat was never carried out. The issue is whether there was an intention to obtain gain or cause a loss.
The threat can be express or implied. It can be made without the use of words, but implied via body language or gestures.
Examples of blackmail include:
- a person demanding access to children under the threat of violence;
- a person demanding money in exchange for not publishing naked photos of another person;
- a person threatening to poison an ex-partner’s pet if the ex-partner does not agree to resume the relationship.
What must the police prove?
Beyond a reasonable doubt, the police must prove that a person:
- Made an unwarranted demand with menaces; and
- In making the demand, the person intended to:
- obtain a gain;
- cause a loss;
- influence the exercise of a public duty.
Questions will be asked from an objective point of view, with the court considering whether a person of “reasonable firmness and courage” would have considered the conduct to be a threat.
What possible defences are there?
The accused person could argue that:
- their actions did not constitute menaces;
- they did not intend to gain a benefit or cause a loss;
- they were forced to blackmail someone because they were under duress from another party.
Apart from the penalties listed in s249K, a court can impose penalties including:
- a fine;
- a Community Service Order;
- a suspended sentence;
- an Intensive Correction Order;
- home detention;
Which court will hear the matter?
A blackmail charge can be heard in a Local Court unless either the prosecution or the person charged elects otherwise.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please call Armstrong Legal.
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