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Spin Off sort of - Do you know anyone that has been charged with opening other people's mail?


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54 replies to this topic

#1 saxa

Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:41 PM

In a few threads lately there has been reference to opening other people's mail and the charges involved for doing so.

Do you know of anyone ever prosecuted for it??

#2 Frau Farbissina

Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

No


#3 katpaws

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:04 AM

No, but then i don't know anyone who has been charged for murder either.

People who deliver the mail can be charged with mail tampering - link. It is part of the Criminal Code Act, so there must be people charged with it, and the punishment can be imprisonment, so it is taken seriously.

According to a lawyer's webpage:

QUOTE
Section 471.7 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Tampering with Mail and is extracted below.

471.7  Tampering with mail-receptacles

(1)  A person is guilty of an offence if the person dishonestly:

(a)  opens a mail-receptacle; or
  (b)  tampers with a mail-receptacle.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years.

(2)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person intentionally opens a mail-receptacle; and
(b)  the person is not authorised by Australia Post to open the mail-receptacle; and
©  the person does so knowing that he or she is not authorised by Australia Post to open the mail-receptacle.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

Edited by katpaws, 13 November 2012 - 05:11 AM.


#4 knottygirl

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:11 AM

QUOTE (katpaws @ 13/11/2012, 05:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, but then i don't know anyone who has been charged for murder either.



yes, but how many people do you know that have killed someone and got away with it?

I think the OP was refering to it being a common crime that is rarely (if ever) prosecuted.  Murder is not a common crime and is always prosecuted.  Not really the same thing!

#5 FiveAus

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:13 AM

No.


I do know someone who was charged with murder, however.

#6 katpaws

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:15 AM

QUOTE
but how many people do you know that have killed someone and got away with it?


That i don't know - it is generally not something that comes up in conversation. But i do know someone who thought they killed someone - does that count?

Tampering with mail is considered an offence, regardless if people think that is ridiculous or not. If the OP wants a conversation about the differences of opinion and punishment for mail tampering and other offences, then why not just come and ask that?



#7 LookMumNoHands

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:25 AM

Yes. It was a friends older brother about 20 years ago. I have no idea what punishment he got, but I know that her parents had to take him to court.

#8 knottygirl

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:51 AM

QUOTE (katpaws @ 13/11/2012, 05:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That i don't know - it is generally not something that comes up in conversation. But i do know someone who thought they killed someone - does that count?

Tampering with mail is considered an offence, regardless if people think that is ridiculous or not. If the OP wants a conversation about the differences of opinion and punishment for mail tampering and other offences, then why not just come and ask that?



i think the op wants to know if its a crime in name only or if people are actually prosecuted for it.

#9 MrsLexiK

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:51 AM

I don't know anyone who has been charged with anything order then drink driving. I also haven't opened up other people's mail.

#10 katpaws

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:02 AM

QUOTE
...if people are actually prosecuted for it.


Well they are... even if not many people on EB know of people who have been charged with it.



#11 Fr0g

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:23 AM

Working in the justice field, in and around courts for a few years now... never seen a mail tamperer.

Prefer seeing the court's time hearing and prosecuting violent/ sexual offences than openers-of-other-people's-mail, to be honest.

#12 Clorox_Girl

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:28 AM

Actually I had a call a few weeks ago from Paddington detectives, who had caught someone with a lot of opened mail, one of them which happened to be from my previous address, but not addressed to me. They were prosecuting him, but as the mail wasn't mine, I wasn't really involved.

So I guess the police do take it pretty seriously.

But I have also opened heaps of mail not addressed to me. The people in our new place never bothered to redirect anything, and I am always accidentally opening their mail. I don't really look at the addressee - I just open everything. No one has come knocking on my door yet, but then I don't try and do anything illegal or malicious with the contents.



#13 MegzG

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:35 AM

i have opened mail before- we build our house from new and before we were there it was just paddocks so no forner residents.
i keep getting mail with 2 different peoples names with my address and i return to sender on the front, but sometimes there is no return address so i have to open it to find out where its from.

as a side note, i have send back 10+ items to the same company with the same message to check address and remove mine from their records but they keep sending.
can i take some kind of legal action for harrassment or similar?

#14 Soontobegran

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:43 AM

I don't know anyone personally but I do know that people do get charged as it is a crime.
Those saying they'd prefer the courts to be dealing with major crime I am wondering whether you think we should turn a blind eye to anything that may seem petty?

Actual mail tampering can have enormous repercussions for the owner of the mail......pretty sure that if any of us were effected this way by having our mail opened we'd be looking for charges to be made.

#15 idignantlyright

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:48 AM

QUOTE (katpaws @ 13/11/2012, 06:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, but then i don't know anyone who has been charged for murder either.

I do sad.gif
DH thought years ago he would be charged for pulling a gun on 2 undercover police.
As for mail, nope.

Edited by idignantlyright, 13 November 2012 - 06:50 AM.


#16 Oriental lily

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:54 AM

If your a habititual tamperer then I imagine you would get charged and prosecuted.
However accidentally opening it or as a one of incident I doubt they would prosecute.

Similar to shop lifting.

#17 katpaws

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:12 AM

QUOTE
plus he wasnt having sex with me


That's taking mail tampering to a new level...!.  ohmy.gif



#18 pitzinoodles

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:46 AM

Wow the level of fear in here is incredible!

Accidentally opening someone's mail (especially when it has been delivered to a wrong address) is not going to have you prosecuted.
Malicious or repeated tampering might in some circumstances.

#19 grand poobah

Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:09 AM

I think the key words are 'dishonest' and 'intentional'. Neither of which are likely to apply to your three year old tearing open an envelope. But certainly will apply to someone working their way through a street full of letterboxes in late December looking for cash inside Christmas cards. Our perhaps someone accumulating information to enable them to steal someone else's identity.

And I'd bet Aunt Betsy's secret scone recipe that it's rarely (if ever) a standalone charge and is far more likely to be included as part of 'throwing the book' at an individual who has been more than a tad naughty.

#20 Silver Girl

Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:11 AM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 13/11/2012, 07:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know anyone personally but I do know that people do get charged as it is a crime.
Those saying they'd prefer the courts to be dealing with major crime I am wondering whether you think we should turn a blind eye to anything that may seem petty?

Actual mail tampering can have enormous repercussions for the owner of the mail......pretty sure that if any of us were effected this way by having our mail opened we'd be looking for charges to be made.


I agree with the above. Law enforcement should and does include many levels of severity where crime is concerned.

Mail tampering is a crime for good reason.

#21 Mumsyto2

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

QUOTE (Silver Girl @ 13/11/2012, 09:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mail tampering is a crime for good reason.

I think we all understand that and are on the same page. However I think where the confusion lies is someone deliberately tampering with mail (as descriped in a PP where a guy was caught with heaps of open mail not his, or someone going around collecvting from letter boxes hoping to find cash in xmas cards etc) as opposed to the majority of incidents which are where you get in the front door, rip your mail open as you are walking through the house putting your keys down and go "hang on, this seems strange and not relevant to me" and you then scan the letter or envelope for details and discover it was addressed to someone else and you have opened it not realising.

Some posts seem to indicate that the 2 different scenarios are the same in terms of 'crime' which seems odd.  Whilst I would like to think that the first scenario is dealt with as a crime I would hate to think our already overcrowded court system would be clogged up with 'offenders' from the second scenario.

#22 *Lib*

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 13/11/2012, 05:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No.


I do know someone who was charged with murder, however.

Yep me too. Although I think my person was charged with dangerous driving causing death. Same as murder to me.

Edited by *Lib*, 13 November 2012 - 11:21 AM.


#23 Avidlearner1

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

(2) A person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally opens a mail-receptacle; and
(b) the person is not authorised by Australia Post to open the mail-receptacle; and
© the person does so knowing that he or she is not authorised by Australia Post to open the mail-receptacle

As PP's have said, it is subjective basic on intent.

I had someone maliciously opening my mail for the purposes of harming me and it was near impossible to have them charged initially. Yes my mail had been opened by them, however I needed to prove that there was a intentional purpose (apparently them purposely driving to my house, stealing my mail, and then communicating to others details of those letters was not necessarily proof enough!).

In the end, I had enough evidence to have them charged, but as they were a family member and there are extenuating circumstances to the personal history I found it more effective to hire a PO box to avoid my mail being stolen from my letterbox.



#24 ComradeBob

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE (FrogIsAFrogIsAFrog @ 13/11/2012, 07:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Prefer seeing the court's time hearing and prosecuting violent/ sexual offences than openers-of-other-people's-mail, to be honest.

Depends how it's done, frankly. Identity fraud is often started or continued through opening other people's mail, and that can have devestating impacts on the victim too.



#25 Feral timtam

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

Yes.

A woman I know was stealing another persons mail in an attempt to break up the marriage, she stole an envelope containing tickets to a pretty big name performance and then tried to use one of the tickets to get into the performance. As the tickets had cost a fair bit of money they were reported as stolen and she was caught out when they were checked during admission.

I know she was charged over the issue but I don't know exactly what penalties she copped. I do know that between the mail theft and other things she very nearly ended up doing time behind bars.




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