Extortion


Brisbane Lawyers

Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane - Criminal Defence Lawyers And Solicitors for Brisbane, Queensland

Extortion

Extortion involves a demand without a reasonable cause. It occurs where a demand is made with a threat to cause detriment to a person with an intent to gain a benefit.  In order to establish extortion is it necessary to prove the following elements;

  • A person makes a demand without reasonable cause;
  • With an intent to gain a benefit for any person or cause a detriment to any person; and
  • With a threat to cause detriment to any person .

The maximum penalty for extortion is 14 years. However if carrying out the threats would be likely to cause, serious personal injury to a person or substantial economic loss on an industrial or commercial activity the maximum sentence increases to life imprisonment.

An example of extortion occurs in R v Cifuentes [2006] QCA 566 where a police officer was found guilty after he threatened a member of the public, who had previous drug related charges to pay $15,000 or his house, families and friends houses would be searched and his children taken away.

R v Stratton [1992] QCA 102 is another example where the offender pleaded guilty to four counts of extortion.  The offender had trapped the victim into an apparently innocuous and accidental encounter leading to sexual intercourse, which was videotaped. The offender then demanded $500,000, then $300,000 then $250,000 from the victim.

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