Defined by s1(2) CDA 1971 as the destruction or damage of another party’s property, whether intentionally or recklessly, without a lawful excuse and with intent or recklessness as to endangering life.
AR = The AR for aggravated criminal damage is constructed in a similar way to ordinary criminal damage but with 2 two key differences, as can be seen below:
Destruction or damage
Belonging to the defendant or another
Without lawful excuse (but the defences under s5(2) do not apply)
The first difference to look at here is that the defendant may be found guilty of this offence by damaging their own property (in combination with the MR noted below).
The second is that the aggravated form of criminal damage does not allow for either of the lawful defences of honest belief or the need for immediate protection of property found in s5(2).
MR = intention or recklessness regarding the damage to property as well as endangerment of life by that damage.
The Cunningham recklessness test still applies here in both circumstances; however, the endangerment to life must also be foreseen.
Racially or Religiously Motivated Aggravated Criminal Damage
This offence was created by s30 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – consequently, stronger penalties apply on conviction.
As noted by section 4 of the Act, the offence of aggravated criminal damage in all cases carries the maximum sentence of life imprisonment.