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CAUSING DOG TO INFLICT GBH OR ABH


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW 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.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a charge of causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm.



THE OFFENCE OF CAUSING A DOG TO INFLICT GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM:

The offence of ‘causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm’ is contained in s 35A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) 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 A DOG TO INFLICT GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM?

Examples of ‘causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm’ 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 it’s leash.

WHAT THE POLICE MUST PROVE:

To convict you of ‘causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm’ the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you had control of a dog;
  • That you 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 you intended for the dog to inflict grievous bodily harm or were reckless as to what injury might be caused to the person.

POSSIBLE DEFENCES FOR CAUSING A DOG TO INFLICT GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM:

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that you did not have control over the dog;
  • To argue that you did not do an act;
  • To argue that your act did not cause the dog to inflict grievous bodily harm;
  • To argue that the injury sustained by the person did not amount to grievous bodily harm;
  • To argue that you did not intend and were not reckless to injury being inflicted by the dog; or
  • To raise necessity, duress or self-defence as the reason for your conduct.

WHICH COURT WILL HEAR YOUR MATTER?

The offence of ‘causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm’ is a Table 1 offence. This means that the matter 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.



Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 as a standalone order but may be imposed as a condition of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.

Intensive corrections order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Suspended sentence As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018. This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Community service order (CSO): As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Good behaviour bond As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Community Corrections Orders (CCO): A CCO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the Community Corrections Orders (CCO). Additional conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the court, both at the time of sentence and subsequently upon application by a community corrections officer, juvenile justice officer or the offender. Read more.

Fines When deciding the amount of a fine the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Section 10A: A section 10A is a conviction, with no other penalty attached to it. Read more.

Conditional Release Order (CRO): A CRO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO. Read more.

Section 10 avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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