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What is Robbery under the law?

Robbery is a hybrid offence which contains elements of both larceny and assault and is contained in Section 94 of the Crimes Act 1900. In order to secure a conviction, the Prosecution must prove the following elements:

  1. That the property belongs to someone other than the accused;
  2. That the property was taken and carried away;
  3. The taking of the property was without the consent of its rightful owner; and
  4. The property must be taken
    1. From the person of another;
    2. In the presence of another;
    3. From the immediate personal care and protection of another.

In addition, the Prosecution would need to prove the following additional elements, which relate to the accused’s state of mind at the time of the taking:

  1. The property was taken with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it;
  2. The property was taken without a claim of right made in good faith; and
  3. The property was taken dishonestly.

In addition to the above larceny elements, it must be proven that:

  1. The property was taken by actual violence or putting the owner, or person with lawful possession, in fear of actual violence.

For the purposes of the offence of robbery, there must be violence or threat of violence which induces the victim to part with the property, and it is not sufficient if there was violence or threat made after the property was taken (R v Foster (1995) 78 A Crim R 517). However, the victim does not need to be present when the actual the taking occurs (Smith v Desmond [1965] AC 960).

There is also an offence of assault with an intent to rob, which covers the circumstance where the accused had the intent of permanently depriving the victim of an item of property but did not actually steal from them.

How we can help you

If you have been charged with a robbery offence, it is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible The NSW criminal law team at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers has the expertise to provide clear advice on what to do next ensuring you get a favourable outcome when defending a robbery charge. Contact us today!

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