The article deals about the offence against the persons referred by Section 37 of Crimes Act 1900. The offence is properly named by law as attempts to choke etc (garrotting). It includes other acts that tend to cause the same effect upon the victim.
The offence of attempt to choke may be committed in various ways. The law provides that “whosoever: by any means attempts to choke, suffocate or strangle any person or by any means calculated to choke, suffocate or strangle, or attempts to render any person insensible, unconscious or incapable of resistance with intent in any such case to enable himself or herself or another person to commit, or with intent in any such case to assist any person in committing, an indictable offence commit the offence of attempt to choke under the Crimes Act 1900.
The offence is committed by mere attempt to choke if coupled with any of the intentions required by the law. The acts of attempting to suffocate and strangle any person are also included in the offence of attempts to choke. Thus, attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle any person for the offender to commit for himself any indictable offense is one way of committing the offence.
The offence is also committed if the offender attempts to choke, suffocate or strangle any person to assist another person to commit an indictable offence. Lastly, an offence of attempts to chokes is also committed if the offender attempted to render any person insensible, unconscious or incapable of resistance in the commission of indictable offence.
The intent of the offender to commit an indictable offence must be clear. Since intent is a mental act, it can only be inferred from the external or overt acts of the offender and surrounding circumstances in the commission. It could be before, during or even after the choking, suffocating, or strangling the victim. The offender of this offence is not necessarily the offender of the indictable offence occasioned by the attempt to choke, suffocate or strangle any person.
It is worthy to note that the offence of attempts to choke is also a preparatory act in committing an indictable offence but the indictable offence was not actually committed by the person who choked, suffocated or strangled any person or by a person assisted by the offender. It is a separate and distinct punishable criminal act warranting a separate penalty.
The law that is applicable in the offence of attempts to choke is the Crimes Act 1900. It is categorized as an offence against the persons and particularly defined and punished under Section 37 of the said law.
In this offence, the defence of self-defence may be available to the accused. The accused may set up in his or her defence that he or she was just defending from an unlawful attack and it was necessary to repel or stop it.
The law emphasizes how highly detestable the offence of attempts to choke is. On its face, it could only be petty crime that deserves only a less severe penalty. But the law saw it the other way. It imposes a maximum penalty of 25 years of imprisonment upon the convicted person. Other penalties include community service order, intensive correction order, fine, good behavior bond, suspended sentence and home detention. These other penalties may be imposed by the court when the circumstances that are present in the case deemed it proper.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.