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Bomb Hoaxes

What the law says

Sections 321A of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. Any person who-
    • (a) places an article or substance in any place; or
    • (b) sends an article in any way;
      with the intention of inducing in another person a belief that the article or substance is likely to explode, ignite, or discharge a dangerous or noxious substance, commits a crime.
  2. Any person who, in Queensland or elsewhere, makes a statement or conveys information to another person that he or she knows or believes to be false, with the intention of inducing in that person or another person a belief that an explosion or noxious substance, acid or other thing of a dangerous or destructive nature is present in a place in Queensland commits 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.

Section 321A (1) above that

(1) The accused placed the article (or substance) in the place; or sent the article (or substance) in any way;

(2) The accused intended to induce in another person a belief that the article (or substance) was likely to explode (or ignite or discharge a dangerous or noxious substance)

It is not necessary that the prosecution prove that some particular person was intended to be induced to the belief. It is sufficient that the defendant intended any other person or persons to be induced to that belief.

It is immaterial that the article (or substance) was not in fact likely to explode (or ignite or discharge a dangerous or noxious substance).

Section 321A (2) above that

  1. The accused made a statement (or conveyed information) to another person
  2. The accused knew (or believed) this statement (or information) to be false.
  3. The defendant intended that the person would be induced by the statement to believe that an explosive (or noxious substance or acid or other thing of a dangerous or destructive nature) was presenting or at some place in Queensland.

It is immaterial that the defendant was not in Queensland when he made the statement.

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.

N.B. There are similar offences under the Civil Aviation Act and Airport Acts.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Bomb Hoaxes is

  1. 321A (1) above is 7 years imprisonment
  2. 321A (2) above is 5 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. Duress
  2. Necessity
  3. Intoxication
  4. Insanity
  5. Identification -ie Not the accused person
  6. It is the truth
  7. A reasonable person would not form the view that the article would explode

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Bomb Hoax matters)

 

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