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Teens armed with a machete attempted to break into a Sydney home on New Year’s Day at 3:30 am.

The teenagers were wearing hoods and masks as they attempted to break into the home through the front door.

The home had been subject to increased security due to the family home being targeted for the third time in six months.

New motion sensors at the home alerted the family of the teenagers where they watched the teenagers attempt to break every door including the dog flap, on CCTV footage.

The family inside the home hid in one room to protect themselves from the possible danger that could have occurred if the break-in was successful.

“We did get all of our family into one room upstairs and barricaded ourselves into the one room, hoping they would be unsuccessful,” said the Sydney father who resides there.

The teenagers fled from the home when police arrived, where a police pursuit of the getaway car occurred. The police pursuit was ceased due to safety concerns.

The father expressed concerns about the criminal justice system, especially with the frequency of these situations happening across NSW.

“One has to wonder, is there a failing in the justice system in how they are dealing with young offenders?” the father said.

Police have arrested a 16-year-old believed to be involved in the attempted break-in.

 

Table Of Contents

Meaning of Break and Enter

“Break and enter” is if you physically break into a home or building or if you merely enter through a door, window or a gate that’s closed yet unlocked. The simple act of opening a closed but unlocked gate or door or window without having to break it constitutes a “breaking”. If you then enter the home or building, it will then constitute a break and enter.

The most common type of break and enter offence in New South Wales is the offence of “break and enter with intent to commit a serious indictable offence”, or “break and enter and committing a serious indictable offence”.

The offence of break and enter with intent to commit a serious indictable offence is section 113 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which prescribes up to 10 years imprisonment. This offence occurs if a person breaks and enters into any dwelling-house or other building with an intention to commit any serious indictable offence therein.

A serious indictable offence is any crime that carries up to 5 years or more imprisonment or life imprisonment. This includes the offence of larceny or stealing. 

Under Section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900  a person who;

  1. Breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence within, or
  2. Being in any dwelling-house or other building commits any serious indictable offence therein and breaks out of the dwelling-house or other building,

Is guilty of an offence and can be liable to 14 years imprisonment.

If the individual commits the offence in circumstances of aggravation the penalty increases to 20 years imprisonment.

Circumstances of aggravation in relation to break and enter include where the alleged offender was armed with an offensive weapon, in the company of another person/s, used corporal violence, intentionally or recklessly inflicts actual bodily harm on any person, deprives any person of their liberty and knows that there is a person, or that there are persons, in the place where the offence is alleged to be committed.

If the person commits the offence in circumstances of special aggravation an individual may be liable to 25 years imprisonment.

Circumstances of special aggravation include where the alleged offender intentionally wounds or intentionally inflicts grievous bodily harm on any person, is reckless as to causing actual bodily harm to that or any other person and is armed with a dangerous weapon.

Individuals who are armed and have the intent to commit an indictable offence may be liable to imprisonment for 7 years if the following elements are satisfied.

  1. Is armed with any weapon or instrument with intent to commit an indictable offence
  2. Has in their possession without lawful excuse, any implement of housebreaking or safe breaking, or any implement capable of being used to enter or drive or enter and drive a conveyance
  3. Has their face blackened or otherwise disguised or has in their possession the means of blacking or otherwise disguising their face with intent to commit an indictable offence
  4. Enters or remains in or upon any part of a building or any land occupied or used in connection therewith with intent to commit an indictable offence in or upon the building

Subdivision 4 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) outlines various break-and-enter offences.

  • break out of a dwelling-house after committing, or enter with intent to commit, an indictable offence (s 109, maximum penalty 14 years)
  • break, enter and assault with intent to murder (s 110, maximum penalty 25 years)
  • enter a dwelling house with intent to commit a serious indictable offence (s 111, maximum penalty 10 years)
  • break, enter and commit a serious indictable offence (s 112, maximum penalty 14 years)
  • break and enter with intent to commit a serious indictable offence (s 113, maximum penalty 10 years)
  • being armed with intent to commit an indictable offence (s 114, maximum penalty 7 years), and
  • being a convicted offender armed with intent to commit an indictable offence (s 115, maximum penalty 10 years).

By Alyssa Maschmedt and Jimmy Singh.

Published on 11/01/2023

AUTHOR Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia are Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

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