Sydney Office

Level 35
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Melbourne Office

Level 13
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Brisbane Office

Level 5
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000

Canberra Office

Level 5
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601

Perth Office

Level 10
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

Armstrong Legal Logo

Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions

Copyright © 2019 Armstrong Legal. All rights reserved.

Browsing

Phone 1300 168 676

menu

Toggle Menu Menu

Wounding With Intent of Causing Grievous Bodily Harm


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW 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' or 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 is 25 years imprisonment.

Wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm is a serious offence that can be difficult to prove. There is a less serious charge of reckless wounding where there is no intention, or where police cannot prove that the person intended to cause an injury so serious to amount to grievous bodily harm.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a reckless wounding charge.

THE OFFENCE OF WOUNDING OR CAUSE GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM WITH INTENT:

The offence of ‘Wounding with intent’ is contained in s 33 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and states:

A person who:

  • wounds any person, or
  • causes grievous bodily harm to any person,
with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to that or any other person is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 25 years.

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 you of Wounding with Intent, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You wounded a person.
  • The act was done recklessly as to causing actual bodily harm - to prove a wounding offence, the prosecution must prove beyond 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 FOR WOUNDING OR CAUSE GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM WITH INTENT

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that the assault you committed was not wounding;
  • To argue that you did not intend to cause an so serious it would constitute 'grievous bodily harm'; or
  • To raise necessity, duress or self-defence as the reason for your conduct.

Types of penalties:

Jail for a wounding with intent charge: This is the most serious penalty for a reckless wounding charge and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention for a wounding with intent charge: 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 for a wounding with intent charge (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 for a wounding with intent charge: 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 for a wounding with intent charge. (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 for a wounding with intent charge: 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 for a wounding with intent charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a reckless wounding charge 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 for a wounding with intent charge: 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?

Leading Criminal Law NSW 2017 ISO 9001 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011