Wounding With Intent - Assault Offences | Armstrong Legal

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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Wounding With Intent of Causing Grievous Bodily Harm


In New South Wales it is an offence to wound someone with the intention of causing grievous bodily harm. Wounding means doing something to hurt someone that causes a break in the skin. Grievous bodily harm (GBH) is a legal term for very serious injuries including permanent or serious disfigurement.

A person can be charged with this offence if they cause a wound, which includes a cut, gash or any injury where the skin is broken so long as they also have the intention to cause them an injury so serious that it amounts to grievous bodily harm. The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.

The less serious charge of reckless wounding does not require the accused to have had the intention to cause GBH.

The offence of wounding with intent is contained in s 33 of the Crimes Act 1900.

What Actions Might Constitute Wounding With Intent?

Common examples of Wounding with Intent include:

  • Cutting someone by glassing them in the face;
  • Running someone over with your car, causing the bone in their leg to break and puncture through the skin;
  • Stabbing someone multiple times; or
  • Cutting off someone’s arm with a chainsaw.

What The Police Must Prove

To convict a person of wounding with Intent, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The accused wounded a person.
  • The act was done recklessly as to causing actual bodily harm. To prove a wounding offence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, at the time of the wounding, the accused realised some physical harm may be caused and the actions were still taken and injury to a requisite level was caused.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

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

Possible Defences

A person charged with this offence may validly defend the charge by arguing:

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

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