Robbery in company

What is Robbery in company?

The offence of Robbery in company is found at section 97 of the Crimes Act 1900.

Robbery in company is a serious criminal offence and is subject to a guideline judgement, which means a court is required by law, except in exceptional circumstances, to impose a sentence of 4 to 5 years imprisonment for offenders who are of the character described in the Guideline judgement. Often it is possible to negotiate the charge down to an offence not subject to the guideline judgement. Alternately, it may he defended where there is a dispute as to the circumstances in which the alleged victim handed over the property.

The essence of a robbery is that violence is done or threatened to the person of the owner or custodian who stands between the offender and the property stolen, in order to overcome that person’s resistance and so to oblige him to part with the property; in other words, the victim must be compelled by force or fear to submit to the theft. It is not sufficient that the threat of violence is made after the property has been taken or the stealing occurs as a separate incident following an act of violence.

If you are charged with the offence of Robbery in company, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Robbery in company if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You with the intent to steal;
  2. Took property;
  3. From the victim’s immediate control or presence;
  4. By the use of violence or by putting the victim in fear; and
  5. You were in company.


  1. You assaulted the victim; and
  2. You intended to steal property from the victim or another person;
  3. By the use of violence or the putting of that person in fear; and
  4. You were in company.

A person intends an event if they decide to bring it about by their act or omission and if they foresee an event as the inevitable consequence of their act or omission, they intend to bring about that result even if was not the purpose of their act.

An assault is the intentional or reckless application of force to the person of another or any act which intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence, including words.

Stealing involves you taking and carrying away property that belonged to another person with the intention to permanently deprive the owner of that property and the taking was done without the consent of the owner.

Although it is not necessary that more than one person actually threaten or assault the person robbed, the constructive presence of more than one person is not sufficient, so that a person keeping watch is not in company. The other person may be present for the purpose of giving assistance if required.  You must know or expect that the victim will know of the presence of more than one person at the time of the robbery and the ability of more than one person to assist in the robbery if called upon to do so.

What are the defences to Robbery?

If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if a defence can be established.

Claim of Right is a defence to a Robbery in company charge. A person will have a claim of right where they possess a genuine belief that they have a bona fide claim of right to certain money or property taken. If you believed you were entitled to take the property, it does not matter that you did not believe you were entitled to take it in the manner you did and a robbery charge will fail because you cannot steal your own property. Read more about claim of right, here.

Other defences to Robbery in company include:

Contact our offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown or Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Robbery in company.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Armed robbery is subject to the guideline judgment of R v Henry. Sentences for offences of the character identified below have a starting point of between four and five years imprisonment. Aggravating and mitigating factors will justify a sentence below or above the range which is itself a starting point. A term of imprisonment will be applied in all but the most exceptional cases.

The category of case to which the guideline applies involve:

  1. A young offender with no or little criminal history;
  2. Limited degree of planning;
  3. Limited, if any, actual violence but a real threat thereof;
  4. Victim in a vulnerable position such as a shopkeeper or taxi driver;
  5. Small amount taken;
  6. Plea of guilty, the significance of which is limited by a strong Crown case.

Robbery in company carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. However, this penalty is typically reserved for the worst offenders. It is an extremely serious criminal offence and if you are charged with Robbery in company you should contact our office immediately.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Robbery offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Robbery charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented an Accused person charged with Aggravated Robbery. The Accused man admitted to the police that he had both been in a fight with the victim and also had taken his wallet. Mr Correy represented to the DPP that the fight had occurred without any intention to rob and the wallet had fallen from the victim’s pocket during the fight. Mr Correy represented that the taking of the wallet occurred following the fight and the threat of violence and taking did not coincide. The DPP agreed and laid charges of assault and steal from person resulting in the offences staying in the Local Court. The Accused person plead guilty and received section 9 bonds.

Case study

Our solicitor appeared in trial for an Accused charged with Inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and Assault with intent to rob. The prosecution witnesses were cross examined to establish that the Accused could not be identified as having been involved in the robbery and it could not be established his role in the brawl that subsequently broke out included use or knowledge of a knife used to stab the victim. It was argument any involvement he had was in self-defence. The jury subsequently found the Accused not guilty of all charges.

Case study

AC Law Group represented a person charged with robbery in company inflicting grievous bodily harm and intentionally inflict grievous bodily harm, both offences which carry a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. He had a substantial criminal record and was facing many years in gaol if sentenced for those charges. The Crown prosecutor was convinced to accept a plea of guilty to recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm and the client received a 2 year sentence with a 12 month non-parole period.

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