Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Aggravated offences—pt 2 offences against pregnant women

    (1)     This section applies to an offence against any of the following provisions:

        (a)     section 15 (Manslaughter);

        (b)     section 19 (Intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm);

        (c)     section 20 (Recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm);

        (d)     section 21 (Wounding);

        (e)     section 23 (Inflicting actual bodily harm);

        (f)     section 24 (Assault occasioning actual bodily harm);

        (g)     section 29 (2) or (4) (Culpable driving of motor vehicle).

    (2)     The offence is an aggravated offence if—

        (a)     the offence was committed against a pregnant woman; and

        (b)     the commission of the offence caused

              (i)     the loss of, or serious harm to, the pregnancy; or

              (ii)     the death of, or serious harm to, a child born alive as a result of the pregnancy.

    (3)     However, the offence is not an aggravated offence if the defendant proves, on the balance of probabilities, that the defendant did not know, and could not reasonably have known, that the woman was pregnant.

    (4)     If the prosecution intends to prove that the offence is an aggravated offence, the relevant factors of aggravation must be stated in the charge.

    (5)     To remove any doubt—

        (a)     it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the defendant had a fault element in relation to any factor of aggravation; and

        (b)     the Criminal Code

, chapter 2 (other than the applied provisions) does not apply to an offence to which this section applies, whether or not it is an aggravated offence.

    (6)     In this section:

"cause" loss, serious harm or death—a person's conduct causes loss, serious harm or death if it substantially contributes to the loss, serious harm or death.

"factor of aggravation" means a matter mentioned in subsection (2) (a) or (b).

"harm" to a child—see the Criminal Code

, dictionary, definition of "harm".

"harm" to a pregnancy includes maternal haemorrhage, rupture of the uterus or membranes, placental abruption, pre-term uterine contractions, fetal haemorrhage and trauma to the fetus.

"loss" of a pregnancy means a miscarriage or stillbirth.

"serious harm" to a child—see the Criminal Code

, dictionary, definition of "serious harm".

"serious harm" to a pregnancy means any harm (including the cumulative effect of more than 1 harm) that—

        (a)     is likely to cause loss of the pregnancy; or

        (b)     endangers, or is likely to endanger, the natural course of the pregnancy.

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