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Aggravated Armed Robbery

In NSW it is an offence to steal something from someone and at the time of doing so, threatening them or using physical force to take the item. The offence is known as ‘Robbery’. It is a more serious offence if you commit the offence in circumstances of aggravation. This offence is known as “Aggravated Armed Robbery”.

A person can be charged with Aggravated Armed Robbery if they threaten or use physical force to steal or take something from someone else whilst armed with a dangerous weapon. The maximum penalty for Aggravated Armed Robbery is 25 years imprisonment.

What is a Dangerous Weapon?

A dangerous weapons includes:

  • A firearm
  • A prohibited weapon, or
  • A spear gun


The legislation describes the offence of ‘Aggravated Armed Robbery’ in s97(1) and s97(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

Armed Robbery is defined in s97(1) as follows:

Whosoever, being armed with an offensive weapon, or instrument, or being in company with another person, robs, or assaults with intent to rob, any person, or stops any mail, or vehicle, railway train, or person conveying a mail, with intent to rob, or search the same, shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

In s97(2) an aggravated offence is defined as when “the person commits an offence under subsection (1) when armed with a dangerous weapon”

What Actions Might Constitute Armed Robbery in Company?

The following actions could give rise to a charge of armed robbery:

  • Storming into a service station waving a sword and demanding they empty out the till;
  • Approaching a tobacconist with two mates and demanding he give you some cigarettes;
  • Threatening a stranger with a spear gun and taking his mobile phone;

What must be proven?

To convict a person of aggravated armed robbery the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That they were in company with other people;
  • That they intended to steal something from someone;
  • That they threatened to used force on the person;
  • They were armed with a dangerous weapon; and
  • That they took something from the person.

Possible Defences for Aggravated Armed Robbery

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To argue that you did not intend to steal the item;
  • To argue that you did not threaten or use force on the person;
  • To argue that the item was yours and you had a claim of right over it; or


The offence is strictly indictable and can only be finalised in the District or Supreme Court.

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