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Aiding Persons To Escape From Lawful Custody

What the law says

Sections 141 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

A person who

  • (a) aids a person in lawful custody to escape, or to attempt to escape, from lawful custody; or
  • (b) conveys anything to a person in lawful custody, or to a place where a person is or will be in lawful custody, with the intention of aiding a person to escape from lawful custody; or
  • (c) frees a person from lawful custody without authority

is guilty of a crime.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • (A) The accused:
    1. (1) Aids:
    2. (2) A person in lawful custody;
    3. (3) To escape or attempt to escape;
    4. (4) From lawful custody; or
  • (B) The accused:
    1. (1) conveys anything;
    2. (2) to a person or to a place where a person will be in lawful custody;
    3. (3) with the intention of aiding that person to escape; or
  • (C) The accused
    1. (1) frees;
    2. (2) a person from lawful custody;
    3. (3) without authority.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Aiding Persons to Escape from Lawful Custody is 7 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which can only be dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The person was not in lawful custody
  2. The person did not escape
  3. The accused did not aid the person to escape.
  4. The accused did not convey anything to the person in lawful custody, or to a place where the person is in lawful custody.
  5. The accused did not free the person from lawful custody.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who has experience in Aiding Persons to Escape from Lawful Custody matters)


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