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Armed Forces Act 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Offences relating to service matters punishable by civilian courts

344Aiding or abetting etc desertion or absence without leave

(1)A person commits an offence if he aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another person of an offence under section 8 (desertion) or 9 (absence without leave).

(2)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he knows that another person (“B”) is subject to service law;

(b)he does an act intending to cause B to be absent without leave; and

(c)it causes B to be absent without leave.

(3)A person (“A”) commits an offence if—

(a)another person (“B”) has committed an offence under section 8 or 9;

(b)A knows or believes B to be guilty of that offence; and

(c)A does an act intending to impede B’s apprehension or prosecution.

(4)Subsections (1) to (3) apply to any aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring, or (as the case may be) any act, done—

(a)in a relevant territory;

(b)otherwise than in a relevant territory, by a United Kingdom national (see section 347) or a person resident in a relevant territory.

(5)In subsection (4) “relevant territory” means—

(a)the United Kingdom;

(b)the Isle of Man; or

(c)a British overseas territory.

(6)In subsection (2) (and subsection (4) so far as relating to that subsection) “act” includes an omission, and the references to the doing of an act are to be read accordingly.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the relevant maximum or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both.

(8)In subsection (7) “the relevant maximum” is—

(a)in relation to England and Wales, 12 months;

(b)otherwise, 6 months.

345Aiding or abetting etc malingering

(1)A person commits an offence if he aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission by another person of an offence under section 16 (malingering).

(2)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he knows that a person (“B”) is subject to service law; and

(b)intending to cause B to avoid service, by any act—

(i)he causes B an injury; or

(ii)he aggravates or prolongs any injury of B's.

(3)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he knows that a person (“B”) is subject to service law; and

(b)intending to cause B to avoid service, by any act—

(i)he causes B to believe that B has an injury; or

(ii)he causes another person to believe that B has an injury.

(4)Subsections (1) to (3) apply to any aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring, or (as the case may be) any act, done—

(a)in a relevant territory;

(b)otherwise than in a relevant territory, by a United Kingdom national (see section 347) or a person resident in a relevant territory.

(5)In subsection (4) “relevant territory” means—

(a)the United Kingdom;

(b)the Isle of Man; or

(c)a British overseas territory.

(6)In this section “injury” and “service” have the same meanings as in section 16.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the relevant maximum or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine, or to both.

(8)In subsection (7) “the relevant maximum” is—

(a)in relation to England and Wales, 12 months;

(b)otherwise, 6 months.

346Obstructing persons subject to service law in course of duty

(1)A person commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally obstructs a person (“B”);

(b)B is a person subject to service law acting in the course of his duty; and

(c)he knows or has reasonable cause to believe that B is subject to service law.

(2)Subsection (1) applies to anything done in—

(a)the United Kingdom;

(b)the Isle of Man; or

(c)a British overseas territory.

(3)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the relevant maximum, or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, or to both.

(4)In subsection (3) “the relevant maximum” is—

(a)in relation to England and Wales, 51 weeks;

(b)otherwise, 6 months.

347Sections 344 to 346: supplementary provisions

(1)If an offence under section 344 or 345 is committed in a British overseas territory—

(a)proceedings may be taken, and

(b)the offence may for incidental purposes be treated as having been committed,

in any place in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man (without prejudice to the right to take proceedings in that British overseas territory).

(2)If an offence under section 344 or 345 is committed otherwise than in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or a British overseas territory—

(a)proceedings may be taken, and

(b)the offence may for incidental purposes be treated as having been committed,

in any place in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or a British overseas territory.

(3)In sections 344 and 345 a “United Kingdom national” means an individual who is—

(a)a British citizen, a British overseas territories citizen, a British National (Overseas) or a British Overseas citizen;

(b)a person who under the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61) is a British subject; or

(c)a British protected person within the meaning of that Act.

(4)In sections 344 to 346 any reference to a person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that another person is subject to service law is a reference to—

(a)his knowing the circumstances by virtue of which that other person is subject to service law; or

(b)(as the case may be) his having reasonable cause to believe that those circumstances exist.

348British overseas territories: references to maximum penalties

(1)This section applies in relation to any provision of—

(a)section 344, 345 or 346, or

(b)regulations made by virtue of section 343(5)(b),

specifying the maximum term of imprisonment, or the maximum fine, to which a person guilty of an offence under that section, or under those regulations, is liable.

(2)In relation to any such provision as it extends to a British overseas territory, the law of the British overseas territory may—

(a)provide for the maximum term of imprisonment to be longer or shorter than that provided for by the provision;

(b)provide for the maximum fine to be higher or lower than that provided for by the provision;

(c)specify the amount of the local currency that is to be treated as equivalent to the maximum fine provided for by the provision or provided for by virtue of paragraph (b).

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