Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent

– section 49C of the Summary Offences Act 1966

Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent

The police use Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent when a person is disguised, or is in possession of a disguise, with the intention of committing a crime.

Examples of Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent
  • A person buys a clown mask with the intent of hiding their identity for a bank robbery.
  • A person covers their face in shoe polish so they can anonymously rob somebody in the street.
  • A person puts on a mask with the intent of burgling a house, but runs away when he sees somebody is home.
What are some of the possible defences to a Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent charge?
  • There was no intent to commit a crime.
  • Somebody else committed the offence.
  • You were disguised because you were going to a fancy dress party.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • How do they prove someone intended to commit a crime?
  • How can they prove the offender’s identity?

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Maximum penalty and Court that deals with Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent

The maximum penalty for Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent is 2 years imprisonment.

The charge is heard in the Magistrates/ Court.

“How do they prove you were disguised to commit crime”
What is the legal definition of Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent?

The legal definition of Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent is wearing a disguise or blackened face, or possessing a disguise, with the intention of committing a crime.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 49C of the Summary Offences Act 1966.1
 
Magistrates' Court

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

This would depend on your prior convictions and the seriousness of the crime that they allege you are disguised for.

If in Magistrates’ Court:

If in County Court:

 


[1] Summary Offences Act 1966 – Section 49C

A person must not with unlawful intent—
(a) be disguised or have a blackened face; or
(b) have an article of disguise in his or her custody or possession.
Penalty: 2 years imprisonment.