The following case study deals with charges faced by our client for the offences of demanding money with menaces and detain for advantage. First, we explore the key elements of these offences.
What is the offence of demanding money with menaces?
The offence of demanding money with menaces is set out under section 99 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). An individual convicted of this offence is liable to 10 years imprisonment.
The prosecution must prove that:
- The accused demanded any property from the victim,
- The demand was accompanied by menaces or force, and
- That the accused intended to steal the property.
The prosecution does not have to prove that the menace consisted of violence or injury by the offender or by any other person.
Section 99(2) of the Crimes Act sets out the aggravated offence which is met if the person commits the offence in the company of another person or persons. A person can be liable for 14 years imprisonment for this offence.
What is the offence of detain for advantage?
A person who is convicted of detaining a person with the intention of obtaining any advantage is liable to imprisonment for 14 years as per section 86(1) of the Crimes Act.
To establish this offence, the prosecution must prove that:
- The accused detained the alleged victim,
- The victim was detained without their consent, and
- The accused acted with the intention of obtaining an advantage by detaining the victim
“Detaining” means “causing the person to remain where he or she is” as per section 86(7) of the Act.
Section 86(2) of the Act states that the offence becomes aggravated kidnapping if it is committed in the company of another person or persons or if at the time of, or immediately before or after the detainment, actual bodily harm is occasioned to the alleged victim. A person can be liable for 20 years imprisonment for this offence.
Section 86(3) of the Act states that the offence becomes specially aggravated kidnapping if it is committed in the company of another person or persons and at the time of, or immediately before or after the detainment, actual bodily harm is occasioned to the alleged victim. A person can be liable for 25 years imprisonment for this offence.
Our client was friends with a young woman who purchased a car after receiving an inheritance. Her boyfriend bought the car using her money and put it in his name as she was only 17 and would have to pay massive insurance costs. When they broke up, he kept the car. The woman asked our client to recover her car after her former boyfriend threatened her.
Our client put the man in the boot of his car and drove to a deserted park (detain for advantage).
Armed with a baseball bat, he then forced him to sign over the registration back to the girl (demand money with menaces).
The victim was released unharmed and complained to police. The client’s fingerprints were found on the car used to convey the victim to the park and his DNA was found on the registration papers.
Once the brief of evidence was served, we were able to negotiate with the Director Of Public Prosecutions solicitor at a compulsory case conference for the matter to be dealt with by way of plea of guilty in the Local Court with agreed facts. The detain for advantage charge was withdrawn. The client pleaded guilty to demanding money with menaces.The client was spared a jail sentence, receiving a suspended sentence for two years.
Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in all areas of criminal law.
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