Throwing Things At A Sporting Event
What the law says
Sections 24 of the Summary Offences Act Queensland states:
- A person at a sporting event must not throw or propel an object that may
- (a) injure a person; or
- (b) damage property; or
- (c) disrupt the event.
Subsection (1) does not apply to a person actually participating in a sporting event who throws or propels an object the person ordinarily throws or propels as part of the sporting event.
It also does not apply to a person who is a spectator at a sporting event who returns an object ordinarily used in the sporting event to a person actually participating in the sporting event in a way not intended to contravene subsection (1).
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 person threw or propelled the object.
- The thing thrown may have injured, damaged or disrupted the event.
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 Throwing Things at a Sporting Event is 10 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is a simple offence which means it is dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
- The person did not throw or propel the object.
- The thing thrown did not injure, damage or disrupt the event.
- Identification i.e. not the accused
- No reasonable person could have foreseen that the thing thrown would have caused injury, damage or disrupt the event.
Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Throwing Things at a Sporting Event matters)