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Cruelty To Children Under 16

What the law says

Sections 364 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

An person who having the lawful care or charge of a child under 16 years causes suffering the child by-

  • (a) Failing to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, medical treatment, accommodation or care when it is available to the person from his or her own resources; or
  • (b) Failing to take all lawful steps to obtain adequate food clothing, medical treatment, accommodation or care when it is not available to the person from his or her own resources; or
  • (c) Deserting a child; or
  • (d) Leaving the child without means of support.

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.

The accused:

  1. Having the lawful care or charge of a child under 16;
  2. Caused suffering to the child; by
    • a)Failing to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, medical treatment,   accommodation or care when it is available to the person from his or her own resources; or
    • (b) Failing to take all lawful steps to obtain adequate food clothing, medical treatment, accommodation or care when it is not available to the person from his or her own resources; or
    • (c) Deserting a child; or
    • (d) Leaving the child without means of support.

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 Cruelty to Children Under 16 is 7 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The accused did not have lawful care of charge of the child.
  2. The accused did not fail to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, medical treatment, accommodation or care when it is available to the person from his or her own resources; or
  3. The accused did not fail to take all lawful steps to obtain adequate food clothing, medical treatment, accommodation or care when it is not available to the person from his or her own resources; or
  4. The accused did not desert a child; or leave the child without means of support.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Cruelty to Children Under 16 matters)

 

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