Committing an assault with the intent to commit another offence
Under some circumstances, committing an assault with the intent to commit another offence violates section 22 of the Crimes Act in the Australian Capital Territory. The crime is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years.
The offence is committed when an accused:
- assaults another person
- with the intent to commit
- another offence in Part 2 of the Crimes Act
- that is punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years or longer.
Examining each of those elements will help you understand the crime of assault with intent to commit another offence.
An assault is the unlawful threat or use of force against another person. Our article explaining the offence of common assault discusses the nature of an assault in more detail.
State of mind
A violation of section 22 occurs only when the accused commits an assault with the intent to commit another crime. The accused need not actually commits the other crime but must intend to do so at the time the assault is committed.
The other offence must be an offence that is defined in Part 2 of the Crimes Act and that is punishable by a maximum sentence of not less than 5 years. The offences in Part 2 are crimes against persons. They do not include sexual assaults or other sex offences that are listed in Part 3 or the property crimes described in Part 6. The offence of assault with intent to commit another offence in the ACT is therefore narrower than a similar crime in other states known as assault with intent to commit an indictable offence.
A violation of section 22 can occur when an accused assaults someone as a way of furthering a different crime against that person. For example, an accused might threaten someone in order to induce that person to enter a car with the intent of kidnapping that person. Since kidnap is an offence in Part 2 of the Crimes Act, the crime of assault could be charged even if the kidnap is never completed. Similar Part 2 offences that might be intended while committing an assault include forcible confinement and child abduction.
It is also possible to commit an assault upon one person with the intent to commit a Part 2 crime against another person. For instance, shoving a bodyguard out of the way in order to murder the person protected by the bodyguard would be an assault upon the bodyguard with intent to commit another offence, whether or not the murder is actually committed.