What the law says about torture
Sections 320A of the Criminal Code Queensland states:
- A person who tortures another person commits a crime
- In this section-“pain or suffering” includes physical, mental, psychological or emotional pain or suffering, whether temporary or permanent.
“torture” means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering on a person by an act or series of acts done on 1 or more than one occasion.
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.
- The accused inflicted severe pain or suffering in the complainant. To inflict pain and suffering is to cause it to be felt. The pain or suffering may be physical, mental, psychological or emotional and it may be temporary or permanent. Pain and suffering is subjective. One person may experience greater pain and suffering from the same pain invoking factor than another person.
- The accused inflicted the pain and suffering intentionally. That is, that the accused intended his or her act(s) to inflict severe pain or suffering on the complainant. It is not enough that such suffering is the consequence of the accused’s act(s) and that the acts were deliberate. The prosecution must prove an actual, subjective, intention on the part of the accused to cause severe pain or suffering by his/her conduct.
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.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Torture is 14 years imprisonment.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
- Identification i.e. not the accused
- The torture was not intentional.
- The complainant consented to the infliction of pain
- Duress or necessity