In Queensland, any person who unlawfully wounds anyone else:
A wounding is unlawful if it is not authorised, justified, or excused by law.
Wounding is an indictable offence that cannot be heard summarily. This means that due to the severity of the charge, the Magistrates Court cannot deal with it. Instead, it will need to be “committed” to the District Court where the Court will deal with it by:
The case of R v Jervis held that the law should give an injury of “wounding” its ordinary meaning. Thus, the police must allege a Defendant broke and penetrated the true skin to constitute a wound. It is not enough for an injury to be to the cuticle or outer skin only.
Injuries of this nature often stem from either a wound from a knife, a broken glass or bottle.
“Pub glassings” are common actions of an offender that often result in charges of wounding.
Grievous bodily harm, or GBH, is a separate, more serious, offence which can result from the same action.
If the injury sustained by the victim is more severe, it may amount to grievous bodily harm. For an action to constitute wounding, the injury caused must not be severe enough to be GBH. Otherwise, the police will likely charge the more serious offence.
Sentencing statistics over the last few years highlight the most common penalties. For an offence of wounding, this is a period of imprisonment.
The Court has made clear that conduct of this type will usually warrant a custodial sentence. This has been the case even for young people who have not before received a period of imprisonment.
There are different types of custodial sentences available to a Court. The actual time spent in custody can vary depending on how the Court structures the sentence. A Defendant may not need to serve the entire period in a correctional centre.
Instead, the Court can:
depending on the offender’s circumstances.
Factors that will determine what penalty the Court will impose depend on:
If an offender committed the offence:
the Court must make a community service order as a penalty for the offending. This is regardless of whether the Court chooses to impose any other penalty.
Intoxication in a public place is a “circumstance of aggravation” to the offence. A community service order is unavoidable. This is unless:
satisfies the Court that the Defendant is unable to carry out a community service order due to:
In R v Cui  QCA 334 the District Court of Queensland convicted the offender of one count of unlawful wounding. The District Court sentenced him to:
The offender was successful in appealing this sentence. The Court of Appeal amended it to be:
The circumstances of that offence were that:
In his favour, the offender:
He also paid $3,000 compensation to the victim for the injury.
On the more serious end of the scale, in the matter of R v Curley  QCA 140 an offender pleaded guilty to:
The District Court sentenced her to:
On appeal, the Court of Appeal altered this to:
The circumstances of the case were that:
The victim suffered an 8-centimetre laceration to the neck with seventeen sutures required. There was also a laceration to the chin which required nine sutures.
On their criminal history, the offender had:
The Defendant’s legal counsel was able to persuade the Court to lessen the time spent in actual custody on appeal, due to:
The victim also indicated that she would rather have her mother in the community.
The offence of wounding can attract a wide range of sentences.
If the police have charged you with this offence, you should seek legal advice.
We can explain your background, and factors which will count in your favour to the Court. This will yield a better result than if the Court is only able to rely on the facts presented by the Prosecution.
There are also defences to wounding available. We will explore these with you if any might be applicable.
Proper experience appearing before the Court for serious violence offences is essential.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers are focused on results.
Our Criminal Defence Team can:
Aitken Whyte Lawyers can assist you with all criminal charges. We have extensive experience representing clients for serious violence offences, such as wounding.
To speak to a criminal lawyer about your situation and get advice or representation, call us on 07 5408 0655.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers
11/8 Pikki Street,
Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: +617 5408 0655
Fax: +617 3211 9311