Interfere with Corpse of a Human being

– section 34B of the Crimes Act 1958

Interfere with Corpse of a Human BeingInterfere with Corpse of a Human Being

Interfere with Corpse of a Human Being is when someone either does something sexually to a corpse or takes away body parts from a corpse.

Examples of Interfere with Corpse of a Human Being
  • A man breaks into a Mortuary and has sex with the corpse of a woman.
  • A woman digs up the grave of her husband and removes his body parts to bury in her backyard.
What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Interfere with Corpse of a Human Being?
  • You did not interfere with a corpse.
  • You did not intentionally interfere with a corpse.
  • The interference was for the purposes of a medical or scientific procedure.

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 interfere with a corpse?
  • Can they prove you interfered with a corpse?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is level 6 imprisonment (5 years).

This charge may be heard in the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court.

“Did you do something to a corpse?”
What is the legal definition of Interfere with Corpse of a Human Being?

The Prosecution must show that the accused interfered with or committed an indecent act with the corpse of a human being, or the accused removed body parts from the corpse of a human being.

Legislation

The section that covers this offence is section 34B of the Crimes Act 1958.1

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

This is a rare offence that is not often charged. However if you are found guilty you may receive a prison sentence.

 


[1] Crimes Act 1958 – Section 34B

(1) A person must not intentionally—
(a) interfere sexually or commit an indecent act with a corpse of a human being; or
(b) unlawfully remove body parts from a corpse of a human being—
whether that corpse is in a public cemetery within the meaning of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 or at any other place.
Penalty: Level 6 (5 years maximum).
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to—
(a) any person who is engaged in the preparation of a corpse of a human being for the purposes of interment or cremation within the meaning of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003; or
(b) any other lawful interference with a corpse of a human being, including a lawful interference for the purposes of a medical, scientific or hygienic procedure.