Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding

If you are reckless and cause Grievous Bodily Harm (“GBH”) or wounding to another person which has left the victim with a serious injury or wound then you may face a charge of reckless grievous bodily harm or wounding.

GBH or wounding include:

  • Striking at a person with a first or slapping a person cutting their skin;
  • Throwing an object at another person or knifing someone; and/or
  • Any other type of assault where the person injuries are where substantially serious and/or cause the first layer of the skin to break being the interior layer (dermis) and outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. A wound can be caused by something as simple as a fist and a split lip is sufficient to be classed as a wound.



Section 35 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) provides that

Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – ‘A person who: causes Grievous Bodily Harm to any person, and is Reckless as to causing Actual Bodily Harm to that or any other person, is guilty of an offence - Maximum penalty: Imprisonment 10 years’.

GBH “in company” - Maximum penalty: Imprisonment 14 years.

Reckless wounding – ‘A person who wounds any person, and is reckless as to causing actual bodily harm to that or any other person, is guilty of an offence - Maximum penalty--Imprisonment for 7 years’.

Wounding ‘in company’ - Maximum penalty--Imprisonment for 10 years.



Reckless grievous bodily harm can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Reckless wounding can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 7 years. 

Reckless grievous bodily harm or wounding “in company” can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 14 years

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent charge.

  • Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond)



Since Reckless grievous bodily harm or wounding is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

  • You caused Grievous Bodily Harm or wound to the victim; and
  • You did so Recklessly.

For the ‘in company’ the added fact of someone was in your company also needs to be proven, not just in the vicinity but participating even if only by encouragement.



Some defences available for those charged with Reckless grievous bodily harm or wounding can include:

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”;
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence” even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there be a circumstances where you may argue that there was “No duty or need to retreat”.



For using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® offers the following options:

1.     We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.

2.     At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.

3.     Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.

4.     Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email for more information. The first consultation is free.

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