Kidnapping is a serious criminal offence in New South Wales, and is considered a serious crime under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The term kidnapping refers to the unlawful taking or detention of a person against their will, using force, fraud, or deception.
Kidnapping can take many different forms and can be carried out by individuals or groups with varying motives. Some kidnappers may be seeking financial gain and may demand a ransom in exchange for the release of the victim. Others may have more sinister intentions, such as using the victim for human trafficking or other criminal activities.
In NSW, a person can face a range of charges for kidnapping, including:
Under Section 86 of the Crimes Act 1900, a person who unlawfully takes or detains another person, without their consent and with the intention of holding them for ransom or any other reason, can be charged with kidnapping. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 14 years.
If a person is kidnapped with the use of violence, threats, or with the intention of committing another offence, then the person can be charged with aggravated kidnapping under Section 87 of the Crimes Act 1900. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 20 years.
Deprivation of Liberty
Under Section 88 of the Crimes Act 1900, a person who unlawfully takes or detains another person, without their consent and without the intention of holding them for ransom or any other reason, can be charged with deprivation of liberty. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 14 years.
Detaining with Intent to Obtain Advantage
If a person detains another person with the intention of obtaining an advantage, then they can be charged with detaining with intent to obtain an advantage under Section 91G of the Crimes Act 1900. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 14 years.
Detaining in Company with Others
If a person is detained in the company of two or more other people, then the offender can be charged with detaining in company with others under Section 86A of the Crimes Act 1900. The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 25 years.
If you are charged with this offence, the onus of proof remains squarely on the crown. To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
The prosecution must prove each of these elements before you can be found guilty of any kidnapping offence.
There are various penalties for kidnapping in Australia and NSW. For most kidnapping offences, the maximum penalty is around 14-15 years. However, the maximum penalty increases to 20 years in prison where you were in the company of another person or persons, or you caused actual bodily harm to the complainant. The maximum penalty further increases to 25 years full time custodial sentence where you were in the company of another person or persons, and you caused actual bodily harm to the complainant.
New South Wales has experienced a number of high-profile underworld kidnappings in recent years, many of which have been linked to organised crime groups.
In 2021, there were several reports of kidnapping incidents in Sydney that were believed to be linked to organised crime. One such incident involved a 15-year-old boy who was allegedly abducted by a group of men and held for ransom, while another incident involved a man who was kidnapped and beaten in a suburban street.
In 2020, a man named Bhanu Kirkman was kidnapped in Sydney’s northwest and held captive for several days. He was eventually released unharmed, but several people were later arrested and charged in connection with the kidnapping.
Another high-profile kidnapping case in New South Wales occurred in 2019, when a man named Anthony Stambolis was abducted from his home in Sydney and held for ransom. He was eventually released after his family paid the ransom, but several people were later arrested and charged in connection with the kidnapping.
If you have been charged with a kidnapping offence in Australia and need legal advice. You should contact one of our expert assault lawyer in Sydney. We will assist you in providing legal advice and provide a free consultation.