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Directors Wilfully Destroying Books

What the law says

Section 175 of the Crimes Act states:

Whosoever, being a director, officer, or member, of any body corporate, or public company, destroys, alters, mutilates, or falsifies, any book, entry, paper-writing, or valuable security, belonging to such body corporate, or company, or makes, or concurs in making, any false entry, or omits, or concurs in omitting, any material particular in any book of account, or other document, with intent in any such case to defraud, shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

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.

1. The accused was a director, officer or member of any body corporate or public company.
2. The accused destroyed, altered, mutilated, or falsifies, any book, entry, paper-writing, or valuable security, belonging to such body corporate, or company, or made, or concurred in making, any false entry, or omits, or concurred in omitting, any material particular in any book of account, or other document.
3. With intent to defraud.

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 sentence

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Directors Wilfully Destroying Books is 10 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

1. Duress
2. Necessity
3. Intoxication

 

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