Domestic strangulation an offence under QLD’s Criminal Code

The Queensland Government has passed laws to make non-fatal strangulation a separate offence under the Criminal Code, to strengthen the response to domestic and family violence.

 

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the creation of the new offence of strangulation was a recommendation of the Special Taskforce on Domestic Violence report “Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland”.

 

“Choking, strangling or suffocating a person is now an offence in its own right with a maximum penalty of seven years jail,” Mrs D’Ath said.

 

“Recognising that strangulation is a serious crime in its own right will serve to strengthen our response to this type of violence within the criminal justice system.”

 

Mrs D’Ath said the Government also passed amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 to make domestic violence an aggravating factor on sentence.

 

“This will require judicial officers to consider the context in which domestic violence offences occur, and in doing so, consider imposing a higher sentence that is within the usual range but not above the maximum penalty,” Mrs D’Ath said.

 

She said the Bill would also reinstate the ability of a court to receive submissions from the prosecutor and defence on the appropriate sentence or range of sentences that should be imposed,” Mrs D’Ath said.

 

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the Queensland Government has accepted all 121 recommendations for government action contained within the Not Now, Not Ever report.

 

“We know strangulation is a pivotal moment that reveals an escalation in the seriousness of the violence committed against a person in the context of domestic and family violence,” Ms Fentiman said.

 

“These important legislative changes will support the safety and security of victims of domestic and family violence while we embark on a broader education and awareness campaign to drive real change on the terrible burden of domestic violence in our community.”

 

19 April 2016.