The Law on Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in NSW

 

49-year old Brett Hill has grabbed, abducted and repeatedly raped an 11-year old girl over a 5-hour period as she walked to school.

It is reported that on 12 June 2018, the 11-year old girl who cannot be named was walking to school in Adamstown Heights, Newcastle when she was grabbed as she walked through Hudson Park at around 9:15am by Hill who was armed with scissors.

Reports say that the girl was then assaulted sexually and indecently for over 5-hours before Hill returned the girl at the Kotara railway station at around 2pm.

Hill who was arrested and charged 4-days later with various counts including aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping has earlier entered pleas of guilty to 4 charges of aggravated sexual assault, a charge of possession of child abuse material, and aggravated kidnapping.

While pleading guilty to those, he denied some other counts.

However, the trial when it was listed on Wednesday didn’t proceed after an agreement had been reached that Hill will plead guilty to 3 more charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 16 years.

As part of the agreement, it is reported that the DPP has agreed to withdraw 3 charges of aggravated indecent assault and a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

Hill has now pleaded guilty to 9 charges in total and is due for sentence in the District Court on 17 December.

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The Law on Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in NSW

Subdivision 5 of part 3 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) outlines the penalty for raping a child in NSW.

Those penalties vary according to the age of the child and circumstances of the sexual intercourse.

A child in NSW is considered to be anyone who is less than the age of 16.

 

Child Aged Under 10

There is a max penalty of life imprisonment to anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child aged under 10 according to section 66A(1).

Further to this, anyone who attempts to do this to a child aged under 10 will face a maximum penalty of 25-years imprisonment under section 66B.

Court’s rarely impose maximum penalties.

Where a court decides not to impose, for example, a life imprisonment on a convicted offender, the offence of s66A(1) attracts a 15-year standard non-parole period.

The standard non-parole period is the period a convicted offender must spend behind bars before being eligible to be released back into the community on parole where the offence fits in the category of the middle range of objective seriousness for these offences.

A standard non-parole period is applied to some offences, and Court are only required to consider it as a guide, not mandatory requirement. This means, that not all offenders will end up having the standard non-parole period imposed against them in court.

 

Child Aged 10 to 14

There is a maximum 16-years imprisonment penalty to anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child aged of or more than 10, but less than 14 according to section 66C(1).

This also attracts a 7-years standard non-parole period of imprisonment penalty.

Where this offence is committed in ‘circumstances of aggravation’, the maximum penalty rises to 20-years imprisonment pursuant to section 66C(2).

This offence also has a 9-years standard non-parole period of imprisonment penalty attached.

 

Child Aged 14 to 15

Then there is a maximum penalty of 10-years imprisonment for having sexual intercourse with a child aged of or more than 14, but less than 16 under section 66(3).

Where this offence is committed in ‘circumstances of aggravation’, the maximum penalty rises to 12-years imprisonment pursuant to section 66C(4). This offence has a 5-years standard non-parole period of imprisonment penalty.

If a person assaults a child aged at least 10, but less than 16 with an intention to commit any of the above-mentioned offences on the child, the maximum penalty is the same maximum as that other offence (as outlined above) according to section 66D.

The term ‘circumstances of aggravation’ here includes any of the following circumstances:

  1. Where the alleged offender either recklessly or intentionally causes actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or on any person present or nearby.
  2. Where the alleged offender threatens to cause actual bodily harm on the alleged victim or anyone else present or nearby by means of an offensive weapon or instrument.
  3. Where the alleged offender was in the company of someone else at the time of the offence.
  4. Where the alleged victim was under the authority of the alleged offender at the time.
  5. Where the alleged victim has a cognitive impairment or serious physical disability.
  6. Where the alleged offender took advantage of the alleged victim while the alleged victim was intoxicated from alcohol or a drug in order to commit the offence.
  7. Where the alleged victim was deprived of his/her liberty by the alleged offender at the time.
  8. Where the alleged offender intends to commit this offence or any other offence (carrying at least a 5-years imprisonment penalty) at the time he/she breaks and enters into a home or other building.

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About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Australia's Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

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