Threats to Safety of Aircraft

– section 246E of the Crimes Act 1958
AircraftThis charge is generally laid in situations where a person makes a threat or a statement as to their intention or makes a statement from which it could be reasonably inferred that it is the persons intention to either destroy, damage or endanger the safety of an aircraft or to kill or injure all or any of the persons on board an aircraft.
Examples of Threats to Safety of Aircraft
  • You get into a fight with your friend whilst on an interstate flight. Things escalate, and you threaten to injure him and others on the aircraft.
Questions in cases like this
  • Did you make a threat?
  • Did you make a statement about your intention to injure or kill anyone onboard?
What are some of the possible defences to Threats to Safety of Aircraft?

Defences to this could be a factual dispute or duress.

You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge

ImprisonmentA person proven guilty of the charge of Threats to Safety of Aircraft may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of level 6 imprisonment (5 years). It is an indictable offence, but the Magistrates’ Court may hear and determine this charge summarily.

What is the legal definition of Threats to Safety of Aircraft?

Any person who threatens, states that it is his intention, or makes a statement from which it could reasonably be inferred that it is his intention to destroy damage or endanger the safety of an aircraft or to kill or injure all or any of the persons on board an aircraft shall be guilty of an indictable offence.

“Can they prove you made a threat?”
Legislation

The legislation for this offence can be found on section 246E of Crimes Act 1958.

Elements of the offence

To prove this charge the Prosecution must prove the following beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused makes a threat or states that it is his intention, or makes a statement from which it could reasonably be inferred…
    The accused must make a threat or a statement of intention to inflict damage.
     
  2. That it is his intention to destroy damage or endanger the safety of an aircraft or to kill or injure all or any of the persons on board an aircraft
    According to section 2A of the Crimes Act 1958, ‘aircraft’ means every type of machine or structure used or intended to be used for navigation of the air.

    The threat can be directed towards one person or multiple people, or at the aircraft itself.

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