What is Choking, Suffocation or Strangulation?

The definitions of choking, suffocation or strangulation are not located within the Crimes Act, therefore the ordinary meaning of these words applies:

  • Choking refers to an act that causes a blockage of the upper airway to prevent breathing.
  • Suffocation refers to a person being deprived of air or breathing.
  • Strangulation refers to excessive or pathological compression of a bodily tube that interrupts its ability to act as a passage.

The offence is differentiated as follows:

  • The gravity of the offence is increased where a person is rendered ‘unconscious, insensible or incapable of resistance.’ If this did not occur, then lowest form of the offence has been committed.
  • The most serious form of the offence occurs when it has been done with the intention of committing another crime, or assisting another person to commit a crime.

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