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Arson

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Arson is about burning things down!  

It is serious stuff!   Know your law!

There is the old joke about the young law student who didn't know the difference between incest and arson . . . . until he set his sister on fire!

But arson is no joking matter.   It is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.  It must not be confused with simple intentional damage under the Summary Offences Act 1981.  That offence is punishable by only up to three months imprisonment. 

We have a specialist topics on Intentional Damage and the Summary Offences Act and we provide you with the direct links as follows so that you can look at those later :

Intentional Damage

Summary Offences Act 1981

The main section in our Crimes Act 1961 which deals with arson is Section 294.  

We set it is out in the full below.  It is quite simple to understand. 

294. Arson  ---  Every one commits arson and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years who wilfully sets fire to, or damages by means of any explosive,-

   (a) Any building, erection, or structure, or any ship or aircraft, or any well of any combustible substance, or any mine, or any bush, forest, or plantation; or
   (b) Any property, whether he has an interest in it or not, if he knows or ought to know that danger to life is likely to ensue.

You can see at once that it applies to any building, ship, aircraft, forest as well as some other structures specifically defined. 

For any other property,  the prosecution would have to prove that you knew all ought to have known that danger to life was likel

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