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If any person is convicted of any offence for which he is liable to
than seven years penal servitude, and if before committing the offence
which he might have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment
United Kingdom been convicted upon any indictment and sentenced
years, and if he is sentenced to penal servitude at all, he shall not
If for the subsequent offence the offender might upon a first conviction have been sentenced to any term of penal servitude exceeding seven years, he shall be liable after such a previous conviction or
convictions as aforesaid to penal servitude for life, and shall not, 20 if sentenced to penal servitude, be sentenced to any shorter term thereof than seven years.
The court having cognizance of the indictment on which any person is convicted who is proved to have been previously convicted,
as aforesaid, may, in addition to any other punishment which it
of the police for any period not exceeding seven years, commencing
sentenced on the second conviction to seven years penal servitude
offences he may be sentenced upon the third conviction to fourteen
When any person undergoing punishment for any such offence
is convicted of any other such offence committed previously to his 40 conviction for the offence for which he is undergoing punishment, he may be sentenced to seven years penal servitude in respect of the
A.D. 1878. two offences; if he is convicted of two such offences, he may be
sentenced to fourteen years penal servitude in respect of the three offences.
When any person is convicted of two or more offences for each of which he might be sentenced to penal servitude, he may be sen- 5 tenced in respect of such two or more offences to a period of penal servitude equal to the sum of the terms of penal servitude to which he might have been sentenced separately, or to penal servitude for life if such sum exceeds twenty years.
When any person is convicted of two or more offences for some 10 of which he might be sentenced to penal servitude, and for others to imprisonment with hard labour, he shall be liable to be sentenced in respect of such two or more offences to a term of penal servitude equal to the term of penal servitude to which he might have been sentenced in respect of the offence or offences punishable by penal 15 servitude, and to three years additional penal servitude for every two years imprisonment and hard labour to which he might have been sentenced for any offence or offences not punishable with penal servitude.
Provided that, whenever any such sentence as aforesaid is passed 20 upon any person undergoing punishment at the time of his conviction, any period during which he may have been imprisoned or kept in penal servitude under any sentence passed in respect of any such offence shall be deducted from the period to which he is sentenced under this section.
PUNISHMENT OF PERSONS UNDER SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE.
any offender against any provision of this Act who, in the judgment of the Court, before which he is charged, is under the age of sixteen years is convicted of any offence punishable with penal 30 servitude or imprisonment with hard labour, and is sentenced to be imprisoned for the term of ten days or a longer term, the court may also sentence him to be sent at the expiration of his period of imprisonment to a certified reformatory school, and to be there detained for a period of not less than two years and not more than 35 five years.
MATTER OF EXCUSE.
DEFINITIONS SUBJECT TO EXCEPTIONS.
5 The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all offences what
ever whether at common law or by statute.
CHILDREN UNDER SEVEN.
No act done by anyone whose age does not exceed seven years 10 shall be an offence.
CHILDREN BETWEEN SEVEN AND FOURTEEN.
No act done by any one whose age exceeds seven and does not exceed fourteen years shall be an offence, unless it be shown affir15 matively that such person had sufficient capacity to know that the
act was forbidden by law.
No act shall be an offence if the person who does it is at the time 20 when it is done prevented, either by defective mental power or by
any disease affecting his mind,
(a.) from knowing the nature of his act; or
(b.) from knowing either that the act is forbidden by law or that
it is morally wrong; or 25
(c.) if such person was at the time when the act was done, by reason of any such cause as aforesaid, in such a state that he would not have been prevented from doing that act by knowing that if he did do it the greatest punishment permitted by law for such an
offence would be instantly inflicted upon him, provided that this 30 provision shall not apply to any person in whom such a state of
mind has been produced by his own default.
An act may be an offence although the mind of the person who does it is affected by disease or is deficient in power, if such disease
or deficiency does not in fact produce one or other of the effects 35 above inentioned in reference to that act.
Voluntary drunkenness is not a disease affecting the mind within the meaning of the provisions herein-before contained; but those provisions apply to involuntary drunkenness, and to any disease 5 caused by voluntary drunkenness, so far as they affect the mind respectively.
If the existence of a specific intention is essential to the commission of an offence, the fact that an offender was drunk when he did the act which, if coupled with that intention, would constitute 10 such offence may be taken into account by the jury in deciding whether he had that intention.
A person who is a party to an offence only by reason of his 15 being present at and aiding and abetting in its commission is not guilty of that offence if the offence is committed by open force by more than one other person besides himself, and if during the whole of the time in which he is so present at and aiding and abetting therein he is compelled to be present at and to aid and abet the 20 commission of the offence by threats on the part of the offenders instantly to kill or do him grievous bodily harm if he refuses to do so, and if within a reasonable time after such compulsion has ceased he, with a view to the apprehension of the offenders, gives full information to some justice of the peace or peace officer of the com- 25 mission of such offence, the persons by whom it was committed, so far as they are known to him, and the circumstances connected therewith.
But the fact that a person acted under compulsion in the commission of any offence shall not in any other case be an excuse therefor, 30 except so far as it may operate in mitigation of punishment.
This section shall apply to married women committing offences under compulsion by their husbands, as well as to other persons, and no presumption shall henceforth be made that married women committing offences in the presence of their husbands do so under 35 compulsion by their husbands.
No act is an offence which is done only in order to avoid consequences which could not otherwise be avoided, and which if they 40
had followed would have inflicted upon the person doing the act, A.D. 1878, or upon others whom he was bound to protect, inevitable and irreparable evil, and if no more is done than is reasonably necessary for that
purpose, and if the evil intended to be inflicted by such act is 5 neither intended nor likely to be disproportionate to the evil intended to be avoided.
No act which causes harm to the person of another is an offence if the person doing it was, without any fault on his part, so situated
at the time that he could not avoid doing the act which caused such 10 harm, without doing some other act which was equally likely to
cause harm to some other person (not being himself), and if he did the one act only in order to avoid doing the other.
This section extends to omissions to discharge a legal duty, as well as to acts. 15 Nothing herein contained shall justify any person in any act or
omission by which the death of any woman is likely to be caused, in order that any child of which she is pregnant may be born alive.
IGNORANCE OF LAW. 20 The fact that an offender is ignorant of the law shall not be an
excuse for any offence committed by him, but it may be relevant to the question whether an act was in fact accompanied by an intention or other state of mind which if it existed at the time when the act was done would make it criminal.
An alleged offender shall in general be in the same position as he would have been in if he had acted as he did under that state of
facts which he in good faith and on reasonable grounds believed to 30 exist when he did the act alleged to be an offence, provided that if
an act in itself immoral is punishable by law only when certain facts exist independent of its immoral character, or if an act in itself punishable by law is punishable with additional severity only
if certain facts exist independent of its illegality, every person 35 liable to punishment or to increased punishment, as the case may
be, by reason of the existence of such facts shall be liable to such punishment or to such increased punishment, although he was not aware of the existence of such facts, and although he believed in
good faith and on reasonable grounds that they did not exist, unless 10 a contrary intention is expressed in the definition of the offence.