Politics & Society Blog

The ‘murderous coward punch’ in New South Wales

With the charging of two men in a Sydney court this week with murder, no coward who now commits a violent unprovoked attack upon another person should be under any illusion. It is an entirely foreseeable outcome that a person subject to a surprise attack may fall heavily. It is also forseeable that if their head is impacted with a hard surface they may die.

Indeed, the number of very well publicised recent cases in Australia mean this foreseeability is such common knowledge, that a jury might be expected to impute such knowledge to any unprovoked attacker.

Section 18 of the NSW Crimes Act 1900 defines murder as follows-

"Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person”.

Clearly, the ordinary person would consider a cowardly sneak attack upon an unsuspecting victim to have been committed with the requisite “reckless indifference to human life”. 

In any event, the intent of such cowards can be assumed to be to “inflict grievous bodily harm”, because a coward does not want the victim to be in a position to respond to the attack. These cowards are after all, usually sissy boys at heart.

Thus, there can be no doubt that deaths arising from a coward punch attack are likely to constitute murder in virtually all cases. 

Further, accomplices or companions of the attacker, knowing that their companion is about to attack, may expose themselves to a similar murder charge. This is because did not seek to deter their companion from conducting the attack. In this connection, not preventing an attack may well be a "thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged”.

The confected controversy about alcohol or drug fuelled violence is a furphy. It is the hatred in the person that causes the attack. Alcohol, drugs, race, religion or sexuality may be triggers for evil to surface, but NEVER an excuse. 

Everyone must take personal responsibility for the impact of their actions.

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