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Armed Robbery in Company

In NSW it is an offence to steal something from someone by threatening them or using physical force to take the item. The offence is known as ‘robbery’. It is a more serious offence if you are armed with a weapon and commit the offence in company. This offence is known as “Armed Robbery in Company”.

A person can be charged with Armed Robbery in Company if they are in a group of 2 or more people, if at least one of those persons is armed with a weapon and at least one of those people threatens or uses physical force to steal or take something from someone else. The maximum penalty for Armed Robbery in Company is 20 years imprisonment.

The Offence of Armed Robbery in Company

The offence is aggravated if someone has a weapon defined as a “dangerous weapon”, which means that it was:

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

The Offence of Armed Robbery in Company

The legislation describes the offence of ‘Armed Robbery in company’ more formally as ‘Robbery etc or stopping a mail, being armed or in company”. It is contained in s 97(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and states:

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.

What Actions Might Constitute Armed Robbery in Company?

Examples of Armed Robbery in Company include:

  • Storming into a service station with a friend waving a gun, threatening the attendant and taking cash;
  • Approaching a tobacconist in a large group and carrying a large stick and demanding they give you some cigarettes or else you will hurt them;
  • Whilst walking on the street with some friends, beating up a stranger with improvised weapons and taking his mobile phone.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict you of Armed Robbery in Company the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you were in company with other people;
  • That you intended to steal something from someone;
  • That at least one of you was armed with a weapon
  • That you threatened to used force on the person; and
  • That you took something from the person.

Possible Defences

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that you were not in company, although this may still mean you are guilty of Armed Robbery;
  • 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 deny your group was armed
  • To argue that the item was yours and you had a claim of right over it; or

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

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

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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