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Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property

In Victoria, Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property is in section 28 of the Crimes Act 1958 Vic, which is a demand for property accompanied with a threat to damage property.

Are you accused of Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property? If yes, our experienced criminal defence lawyers can arrange a confidential conference with you to answer your important questions.
 
We are criminal lawyers who specialise in criminal defence work and have successfully defended many people charged with Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property.

Police interview
It is important that you receive legal advice before speaking with Police. We can advise you about what should be said during a Police interview. You may want to know – should I make a statement to Police? Should I attend a Police interview? Do I need to give my mobile phone? Will the Police leave me alone if I explain my side of the story? Will I be remanded?

If the Police want to speak with you about an allegation of Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property, speak with one of our experienced lawyers first. Anything you tell the Police without advice can make running a defence in Court more difficult later on.

You can also have one of our lawyers attend the Police station with you for the interview to make sure you do not say anything you shouldn’t. It is also comforting to have someone on your side.

Pleading not guilty
When dealing with an allegation of Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property, it is important to commence work straight away because there may be evidence which needs to be preserved.

You want a lawyer who is going to be proactive and:

  • Obtain your instructions,
  • Devise a defence strategy,
  • Request disclosure material from Police,
  • Speak to defence witnesses,
  • Obtain statements from defence witnesses.
We believe in leaving no stone unturned when dealing with allegations of Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property.

Pleading guilty
If you are pleading guilty to Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property, we can talk in Court for you.We can advise you how to prepare your plea to get the possible outcome in Court. We will help you to arrange reports and documents that will help avoid a prison sentence. Call us and discuss how to get the best result.
Legal definition of the offence
A person who makes a demand of another person with a threat to destroy, or endanger the safety of, a building, structure in the nature of a building, bridge, mine, aircraft, vessel, motor vehicle, railway engine or railway carriage is guilty of an indictable offence.

Examples of extortion with threats to destroy or endanger property
  • A person demands that another person pay them $10,000, and threatens to damage the victim’s car if they are not paid the money.
  • A person demands the Council protects native trees and threatens to burn down Council offices if they don’t do it.
Elements of the offence
For a person to be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused made a demand;
  2. The demand was accompanied by a threat to destroy or endanger a specific type of property unless the demand was complied with; and
  3. The accused intended the complainant to fear that the threat would be carried out unless the demand was complied with.
Element 1: The accused made a demand
The accused must make a demand of the victim. The demand need not be made with a view to gain something or cause loss (i.e. blackmail).1

The demand may be made implicitly or explicitly.2 A statement phrased as a request can be construed as a demand in certain circumstances (for example when it is accompanied by a threat).3 Other circumstances such as the accused’s demeanor are also relevant when determining whether a demand has been made.4

A demand may not have been made in circumstances where an accused is able rescind the demand before the complainant has received it, for example if the demand has been drafted in an e-mail but has not been sent yet.5

Element 2: The demand was accompanied by a threat to destroy or endanger a specific type of property unless the demand was complied with The demand must be accompanied by a threat to destroy or damage the following property to satisfy the second element of the offence:6

  • Building;
  • Structure in the nature of a building;
  • Bridge;
  • Mine;
  • Aircraft;
  • Vessel;
  • Motor vehicle;
  • Railway engine; or
  • Railway carriage.
Element 3: The accused intended the complainant to fear that the threat would be carried out unless the demand was complied with
The accused must have intended that the complainant would fear that the threat would be carried out unless the demand was complied with.7 The prosecution does not need to prove that the accused intended to actually carry out the threat.8


[1] Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) s 87
[2] R v Lambert [2010] 1 Cr App R 21
[3] R v Lambert [2010] 1 Cr App R 21
[4] R v Lambert [2010] 1 Cr App R 21
[5] Austin v The Queen (1989) 166 CLR 669
[6] Crimes Act 1958 s 28
[7] R v Dixon-Jenkins (1985) 14 A Crim R 372
[8] R v Dixon-Jenkins (1985) 14 A Crim R 372

 
Some of the criminal defences that can be used to defend against a charge of Extortion with Threats to Destroy or Endanger Property (s28 of the Crimes Act 1958) are:

  • You did not make any demand;
  • You did not threaten a certain type of property.
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
  • Did you make any demands on another person?
  • Did you say or do anything to threaten a certain type of property?
  • Does the person making the claim have a reason for why they would lie about this?