Penal Code


Published: 1927-01-01

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Penal Code
PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 1





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

PENAL CODE
CHAPTER 84


PENAL CODE


LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 2 LRO 1/2010
3 – 6 Original
7 – 12 LRO 1/2008
13 – 18 Original
19 – 20 LRO 1/2010
21 – 24 Original
25 – 26 LRO 1/2010
27 – 30 Original
31 – 32 LRO 1/2008
33 – 38 Original
39 – 40 LRO 1/2010
41 – 50 Original
51 – 52 LRO 1/2010
53 – 80 Original
81 – 82 LRO 1/2010
83 – 180 Original
181 – 182 LRO 1/2002
183 – 210 Original
211 – 212 LRO 1/2008
213 – 226 Original


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS


SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Arrangement of the Code.
3. General rules of construction.


BOOK I
GENERAL PROVISIONS


TITLE i

PRELIMINARY MATTERS


4. Interpretation.
5. Provisions relating to a company and its officers.
6. Definition of public officers, etc.
7. General explanations with respect to the interpretation of expressions.
8. Application of Code to offences committed in The Bahamas.
9. Acts done partly beyond the jurisdiction.
10. Jurisdiction in case of offence on board Bahamian vessel.
11. Saving of certain laws.





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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

TITLE ii
GENERAL AND SPECIAL RULES OF CRIMINAL LAW


12. Provisions relating to intent and as to what constitutes an overt act.
13. Provisions relating to negligence.
14. Provisions relating to causing an event.
15. Provisions relating to consent.
16. Provisions relating to claim of right.
17. Provisions relating to fraud.
18. Provisions relating to the meaning and use of threats.

TITLE iii
SPECIAL EXPLANATIONS AND PROVISIONS RELATING TO

CERTAIN OFFENCES


Assault


19. Different kinds of assault.
20. Definition of and provisions relating to assault and battery.
21. Definition of and provisions relating to assault without actual battery.
22. Definition of and provisions relating to imprisonment, detention and

compulsion.


Unlawful Harm to the Person

23. Definition of different kinds of harm.
24. Definition of unlawful harm.
25. Explanation as to causing harm by omission.
26. Cases in which a person is under duty to prevent harm to another person.
27. Cases in which a person is under duty to supply another person with

necessaries of health and life.
28. Explanations as to office, etc.
29. Exceptions from general provisions as to causing an event.
30. Special provision as to medical or surgical treatment.
31. Causing harm by hindering escape from wreck, etc.
32. Explanation of provisions referring to poison or to noxious matter.


Immoral Traffic and Offences Against Females and Children

33. Definition of “offences against females or children”.
34. Power to take offenders into custody.
35. Extension of power to take deposition of a child.
36. Admission of deposition of child in evidence.
37. Evidence of child of tender years.
38. Power to proceed with case in absence of child.
39. Presumption of age of child.
40. Mode of charging offences, and limitation of time.
41. Power of search for female detained for immoral purposes.
42. Power of search in a house used for immoral traffic.
43. Presumption as to person living with a prostitute.
44. Special provision as to evidence of husband or wife in prostitution cases.
45. Determination of tenancy of premises on conviction for permitting use as

brothel, etc.


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Stealing, etc.

46. Definition of stealing.
47. Stealing from the person.
48. Definition of fraudulent breach of trust.
49. Explanation as to dishonest appropriation.
50. Provisions relating to part owners.
51. Explanation as to a gratuitous trustee.
52. Acts which amount to an appropriation.
53. Distinction between stealing and false pretences.
54. Special provision as to money, etc., in cases of embezzlement.
55. Consent by a wife in case of stealing.
56. Explanation as to stealing of thing found.
57. Things in respect of which stealing, etc., can be committed.


False Pretences and Other Frauds

58. Definition of defrauding by false pretences.
59. Definition of and provisions relating to a false pretence.
60. Explanation as to personation.
61. Provisions relating to fictitious trading.


Receiving and Unlawful Possession

62. Explanation as to dishonest receiving.
63. Peace officer to detain person conveying thing suspected of being stolen,

etc.
64. Inquiry by magistrate concerning things suspected of being stolen, or

unlawfully obtained.
65. Restitution of stolen property in case of conviction.
66. Advertising a reward for the return of stolen property, etc.


Unlawful Damage to Property

67. Definition of damage.
68. Explanation of unlawful damage.
69. Explanation as to amount of damage.


Forgery and False Coin

70. Explanations and special provision as to forgery.
71. Definition of counterfeiting.
72. Definition of falsification.
73. Explanation as to possessing, or doing any act with respect to document,

stamp or coin.
74. Imitation of forged document, etc., need not be perfect.

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75. Special provision as to jurisdiction.
76. Impounding of forged document, etc.
77. Preparation for committing offence.


Tumults and Riotous Assemblies


78. Riot.
79. Unlawful assembly.
80. Making proclamation for rioters to disperse.
81. Dispersion of rioters after proclamation made.


Perjury


82. Power on reasonable cause to direct a prosecution for perjury.

Recognisance may be taken.


TITLE iv
ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT OFFENCES


83. Provisions relating to attempt to commit offences.
84. Case of full offence charged, attempt proved.
85. Case of attempt charged, full offence proved.


TITLE v

ABETMENT AND CONSPIRACY


86. Abetment of offence and trial, and punishment of abettor.
87. Cases where one offence is abetted and a different offence is committed.
88. Duty to prevent felony.
89. Conspiracy.
90. Punishment for conspiracy.


TITLE vi

CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY AND GENERAL EXEMPTIONS


91. Responsibility of infant.
92. Criminal status of insane person.
93. Criminal liability of intoxicated persons.
94. Criminal liability of married woman.
95. Liability of husband or wife to criminal proceedings.
96. Ignorance or mistake of fact or of law.

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TITLE vii
JUSTIFIABLE FORCE AND HARM


97. Justification for force or harm.
98. Grounds on which force or harm may be justified, within prescribed

limits.
99. General limits of justifiable force or harm.
100. Use of force by authority or statute.
101. Use of force in execution of sentence or order of a court.
102. Use of force by peace officer, or by judicial officer or official authority,

for preservation of order.
103. Use of force in arrest, detention, or recapture of felon.
104. Arrest without warrant by peace officer.
105. Use of force to arrest, detain or search a person otherwise than for felony.
106. Right of person arrested, etc., to inspect warrant.
107. Use of force for prevention of or defence against crime.
108. Use of force for defence of property or possession or overcoming

obstruction of legal right.
109. Use of force for preserving order on board a vessel.
110. Use of force in correcting a child, servant or other similar person for

misconduct.
111. Use of force in case of consent of the person against whom it is used.
112. Use of force against third person interfering in case of justifiable use of

force.
113. Use of additional force for exercise of justifiable force.
114. Justification of person aiding another in use of justifiable force.


TITLE viii
LAW AS TO PUNISHMENTS


115. Different kinds of punishment.
116. General rules relating to imprisonment.
117. Penal servitude.
118. Abolition of corporal punishment.
119. General rules as to fine and penalties.
120. General rules as to costs in indictable cases.
121. Costs in summary cases.
122. General rules as to ordinary payment of compensation.


Alternative Discretionary Powers as to Punishments

123. Imposition of alternative punishments.
124. Power to release offender on probation.
125. Increase of punishment on repetition of offence.
126. Persons twice convicted may be subjected to police supervision.
127. Requirements from persons subject to police supervision.
128. Failure to comply with requirements.

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Miscellaneous


129. Cases where one act constitutes several offences, or where several acts are
done in execution of one criminal purpose.

130. Consequences of conviction for felony, etc.


BOOK II
SUMMARY OFFENCES


TITLE ix

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS


131. Ousting of jurisdiction of magistrate in cases where bona fide question of
title is involved.

132. Saving of summary offences constituted by other statutes.


TITLE x
COMMON ASSAULTS AND HARM TO THE PERSON


133. Assault.
134. Indecent, etc., assaults.
135. Causing harm or a wound.
136. Offences requiring sterner punishment.


TITLE XI

BROTHELS AND IMMORAL TRAFFIC


137. Keeping a brothel.
138. Persons trading in prostitution.


TITLE XII

PETTY THEFTS AND FRAUDS


Stealing


139. Stealing.
140. Stealing in special cases.
141. Punishment for second conviction of stealing in special cases.
142. Stealing tree, etc.
143. Provisions as to thing found.


False Pretences and Frauds


144. Fraud by false pretences.
145. Fraud as to ticket, witchcraft, weights, measures, certificates, etc.
146. Frauds in relation to revenue stamps.
147. Interpretation.

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Receiving and Unlawful Possession

148. Dishonestly receiving.
149. Unlawful detention of goods under $500 in value.
150. Unlawful possession of animal or bird or part thereof.
151. Unlawful possession of tree, etc.
152. Having possession of instrument for unlawfully obtaining wine, etc.
153. Regulations in respect to persons dealing in marine stores of any

description.


TITLE xiii
COMMON OFFENCES AGAINST RIGHTS TO PROPERTY


Mischief, etc.

154. Trespass or damage although no pecuniary damage caused.
155. Damages in cases not provided.
156. Damage to trees.
157. Damage to agricultural produce.
158. Damage to fence, etc.


Squatters and Trespassing

159. Power of magistrate.
160. Penalty for insulting trespass on land.


Dogs

161. Complaints as to dangerous dogs.
162. Detention of stray dogs and dogs not under proper control.
163. Penalty for suffering ferocious dogs to be at large.
164. Compensation for injuries done by dog.


Injuries to Animals, etc.

165. Damage to cattle.
166. Damage to animal, not being cattle.
167. Taking and using cattle, etc., without consent of owner.
168. Altering brand marks.


Stray Cattle

169. Stallions.
170. Cattle at large in highways or burial grounds.
171. Duties of peace officers.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

Pounds


172. Interpretation.
173. Pounds and pound keepers and payment of expenses by consolidated

fund.
174. Rules as to pounds.
175. Notice by keeper.
176. Pounds to be kept clean.
177. Strays.
178. Magistrate to adjudicate.
179. Impounded animals to be detained in original pound.
180. Servant’s fault.
181. Penalty for tying up strays for longer time than authorised.
182. Unlawfully releasing impounded animals, etc., or damaging pound.
183. Dispute as to food supplied and charged for.
184. Recovery of compensation by way of stipulated damages.


Harbours and Sea-Shores


185. Penalty for throwing dirt, etc., into harbours.


Damage by Fire


186. Penalty for destroying property by the careless use of fire. Penalty: how

disposed of. Remedy in default of payment.
187. Damaging and endangering property by the wilful and negligent use of

fire.
188. Penalty.
189. Power of court to award compensation.
190. Effect of acceptance of compensation.
191. Stowage of combustible material.


False Fire Alarms


192. Penalty for maliciously giving false fire alarm.


TITLE xiv

PETTY FRAUDS BY FORGERY AND FALSE COIN


193. Forgery, etc., of a document for or under $500 in value.
194. Imitation of revenue or postal stamps, envelopes, forms and marks.
195. Fictitious revenue stamps.
196. Uttering defaced coin.
197. Mode of dealing with suspected coin when tendered in payment.
198. Mode of dealing with counterfeit coin when discovered in any place, etc.
199. Having possession of more than five pieces of counterfeit foreign coin,

etc.

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TITLE xv
COMMON OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER, HEALTH
AND MORALITY


Drunken, Riotous and Disorderly Conduct


200. Intoxicated persons.
201. Offensive and habitual drunkenness.
202. Unlawfully carrying arms.
203. Threat of harm.
204. Causing public terror.
205. Mischievously frightening animals.
206. Riotous behaviour in a public place.
207. Riotous behaviour at divine service, etc.
208. Making use of threatening, violent or obscene language, etc.


Idle and Disorderly Persons

209. Idle and disorderly persons.
210. Possession of housebreaking instruments in day-time.
211. Stowaways.


Nuisances and Obstructions in the Streets, and the Like

212. Various minor offences.
213. Further as to prohibition of noises.


Trading on Sunday, etc.

214. Prohibition of selling of goods on Sunday and other specified days.
215. Exceptions from operation of section 214.


Offences against Sanitation

216. Throwing putrid substances into any water near a town.
217. Fouling drinking water.
218. Keeping putrid substances.
219. Placing any impurity in a thoroughfare.
220. Order of abatement.
221. Saving for Health Services Act.
222. Burial in places other than public cemeteries, etc.


Cruelty to Animals

223. Ill-treatment of animals.
224. Working animal unfit for work.
225. Causing unnecessary pain to animal in transit.
226. Tying up animal without supplying it with food.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

227. Cramming feathered stock.
228. Bull-baiting and similar practices.
229. Entry under warrant into places used for fighting or baiting animals.
230. Torturing animals required to be killed for food.
231. Time in which complaint may be made.


Practising Obeah, etc.


232. Practising obeah or other superstitious devices.
233. Seizure, under warrant, of article used in practice of obeah.
234. Searching of persons suspected of having instrument of obeah in court.


TITLE xvi

COMMON OFFENCES RELATING TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE


235. Withholding of public money, etc., by public officer.
236. Unlawfully having possession of police arms, etc., or assuming dress, etc.
237. Smuggling.
238. Saving all laws relating to the Customs.
239. Power to preserve order in court.
240. Penalty for extortion, etc.
241. Disobedience to summons as witness.
242. Removing goods to evade legal process.
243. Deceit of public officer.
244. Making false report.
245. Falsely pretending to be public officer, etc.
246. Refusal or neglect to aid in prevention of crime.
247. Assault, etc., of public officer.
248. Harbouring peace officers on duty, etc.
249. Taking prohibited things into or out of prison, etc.
250. Aiding escape of prisoner.
251. Interference with prisoner outside prison.
252. Prison officers accessory to breaches of discipline.
253. Obstruction of officers of post office.
254. Sending by post explosive, inflammable, or deleterious substances or

indecent prints, words, etc.
255. Carelessness, negligence, or misconduct of persons employed in carrying

or delivering mail bags, postal packets, etc.
256. Obstruction of telegraphic service.
257. Unlawful voting at election.
258. Attempts to commit misdemeanour against provisions of Title xxix.
259. Compounding offence.
260. Obtaining money by threat of making complaint for summary offence.
261. Corruptly accepted reward for restoring property, etc.

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BOOK III
INDICTABLE OFFENCES


TITLE xvii

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

262. Charges capable of being dealt with summarily.
263. When a young person may be tried summarily on indictable charge.


TITLE xviii
ASSAULT AND SIMILAR OFFENCES


Assault


264. Assault.
265. Aggravated assault.


Criminal Harm to the Person

266. Causing harm.
267. Negligently causing harm.
268. Exposing child to grievous harm.
269. Causing wound.
270. Causing grievous harm.
271. Negligently causing grievous harm.
272. Causing maim or dangerous harm.
273. Use of deadly means of harm.
274. Administering noxious matter.
275. Causing any harm with matter of aggravation.
276. Garotting, etc.
277. Intentionally endangering vessel.
278. Interference with signal, etc.
279. Fraud or negligence endangering vessel.
280. Wrongfully leaving any seaman at sea or on shore.
281. Person in charge of dangerous thing, surgeon, etc., negligently causing

harm or danger.


TITLE xix
KIDNAPPING


282. Kidnapping.
283. Child-stealing.
284. Compulsion of marriage.
285. Effect of avoidance of marriage as regards consent.
286. Definition of kidnapping.
287. Definition of child-stealing.
288. Special provisions as to child-stealing.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

TITLE xx
HOMICIDE AND SIMILAR CRIMES


289. Definition of manslaughter.
290. Definition of murder.
291. Murder.
292. Attempt to commit murder.
293. Manslaughter.
294. Attempt to commit and abetment of suicide.
295. Abortion.
296. Causing harm to child at birth.
297. Concealment of body of child.
298. Infanticide.


Special Provisions


299. Cases in which intentional homicide is reduced to manslaughter.
300. Matters which amount to provocation.
301. Cases in which benefit of provocation is excluded.
302. Mistake as to matter of provocation.
303. Mistake as to person giving provocation.
304. Question of provocation for jury.
305. Persons suffering from diminished responsibility.
306. Special provisions as to causing death.
307. Special provision as to abetment of homicide.
308. Explanation as to a child as the object of homicide.
309. Explanation as to causing abortion.
310. Explanation as to causing harm to a child at birth.
311. Explanation as to concealment of body of child.
312. Alternative verdict upon acquittal in trial for murder of a new-born child.
313. Savings in case of medical or surgical treatment.
314. Special provision as to jurisdiction in case of homicide.


TITLE xxi

LIBEL


315. Negligent and intentional libel.


Special Provisions


316. Cases in which a person is guilty of libel.
317. Definition of defamatory matter.
318. Definition of publication.
319. Definition of unlawful publication.
320. Cases in which publication of defamatory matter is absolutely privileged.
321. Cases in which publication of defamatory matter is conditionally

privileged.
322. Explanation as to good faith.

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TITLE xxii
ARSON AND MISCHIEF TO PROPERTY


Arson


323. Arson of dwelling-house or vessel.
324. Arson of building, etc.
325. Arson of machine, crop, etc.
326. Use of explosive matter with intent to cause damage.
327. Causing damage by fire or explosion generally.


Other Criminal Mischief

328. Damage to building, or construction, etc.
329. Damage to lighthouse, etc.
330. Damage to telegraph.
331. Damage to manufacture, and other produce.
332. Damage to cattle and doping of horses.
333. Taking fish in private water situate on land adjoining dwelling-house or in

private fishery elsewhere.
334. Unlawfully taking away or opening mail bag sent by vessel employed

under post office.
335. Criminal diversion of letters from addressee.
336. Abstracting of electricity.
337. Damage to document.
338. Damage in cases not provided for.


TITLE xxiii
ROBBERY, FRAUD AND EXTORTION


Robbery, Stealing, etc.


339. Robbery and robbery with violence.
340. Sacrilege and stealing in special cases.
341. Stealing a will or codicil.
342. Stealing mail bag or postal packet.
343. Fraud by mail.
344. Common thief.
345. Stealing.
346. Extortion.


Fraudulent Breach of Trust

347. Fraudulent breach of trust.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

False Pretences and Other Frauds


348. Fraud by false pretence.
349. Fraud as to insurance.
350. Falsification of accounts, etc.
351. Fraud in sale or mortgage of land.
352. Fraudulent debtors.
353. Money lending under false pretence.
354. Interpretation.
355. Fraud as to boundaries or documents.
356. Fraud as to thing pledged or taken in execution.
357. Fraud in removing goods to evade legal process.


Receiving


358. Dishonestly receiving property obtained by indictable offence.
359. Common receiving.


Special Provisions


360. Exemption of person making previous disclosure in compulsory

proceedings.


TITLE xxiv
BURGLARY AND HOUSEBREAKING


361. Definition of housebreaking.
362. House-breaking.
363. Burglary.
364. Entry into building by night, etc.
365. Possession of instrument for burglary, etc.


TITLE xxv

FORGERY AND FALSE COIN


366. Forgery of will, judicial or official document, etc.
367. Forgery of document fur more than $500.
368. Forgery of other document.
369. Forgery of, and other offences relating to stamps.
370. Common forging.
371. Counterfeiting coin, etc., and common coining.
372. Clipping, etc., of coin and being in possession of clippings, etc.
373. Common coiner.
374. Being in possession of means of coining or forging.

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375. Uttering forged documents, etc.
376. Claiming upon forged document.
377. Possessing forged document, etc.
378. Punishments for selling medals resembling current coin.
379. Forgery.
380. Possession of materials for forging notes.
381. Mutilating or defacing currency notes.
382. Imitation of currency notes.
383. Procuring, making, etc., of document by force, etc.
384. Forging hall mark on gold or silver plate or bullion.
385. Imitating authorised marks.
386. Imitating customary marks.
387. Search warrants.
388. Disposal of forged currency notes and plant used for forging currency

notes.


TITLE xxvi
TREASON AND CRIMES AGAINST THE SAFETY OF THE

STATE

389. Treason.
390. Misprision of treason.
391. Treason felony.
392. Application of English law of treason, etc.
393. Setting up independent state, etc.
394. Use of armed force against the Government, etc.
395. Interpretation as to sedition.
396. Sedition offences.
397. Power to prohibit importation of publication.
398. Aiding or permitting escape of prisoner of war.
399. Abetment of mutiny by soldier or sailor.
400. Abetment of desertion or insubordination by soldier or sailor, or assault

on superior officer.
401. Evasion of military or naval service.
402. Unlawful training.
403. Recruiting may be prohibited or permitted.
404. Piracy.
405. Military operations.
406. Taking or administering unlawful oath.
407. Breaches of official trust.


Special Provisions

408. Search warrants and power to examine packages.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

TITLE xxvii
CRIMES AGAINST THE PUBLIC PEACE


409. Riot.
410. Rioting with weapons.
411. Unlawful assembly.
412. Provocation of riot.
413. Riot and felony.
414. Rioting after proclamation.
415. Forcible entry.
416. Forcible detainer.
417. Challenging or agreeing to fight with weapons.
418. Threat of death or grievous harm.
419. Threat by writing.
420. Violence against judges, etc., in legal proceeding.
421. Disturbance of lawful assembly.
422. Obstructing public or peace officer.


TITLE xxviii

PERJURY AND PERVERSION OF JUSTICE


Perjury and Similar Crimes


423. Definition of perjury.
424. Perjury.
425. Perjury on trial for capital crime.
426. Fabrication of evidence.
427. False declarations.
428. Destruction, etc., of public register, etc.
429. Removal, etc., of document used in judicial proceeding.
430. Fraudulent acknowledgement of judgment, etc.
431. Deceit of court by personation, etc.
432. Deceit of public officer.
433. Bringing fictitious action.
434. Repealed.
435. Repealed.
436. Disobedience to summons as witness.
437. Hindrance of inquest.
438. Neglect to hold inquest, etc.
439. Disturbance of court.
440. Insulting court.
441. Exciting prejudice as to proceeding pending in court.


Rescue, Escape, Compounding Crime, etc.


442. Rescue of criminal.
443. Rescue in other cases.
444. Escape.

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445. Permitting escape.
446. Preventing execution of person sentenced to death.
447. Refusal or neglect to aid public officer, etc., in prevention of crime.
448. Harbouring criminal.
449. Compounding crime.


TITLE xxix
CRIMES RELATING TO PUBLIC OFFICES AND TO PUBLIC

ELECTIONS

450. Refusal to serve in public office.
451. Falsely pretending to be public officer or juror, etc.
452. Making false declaration, etc., for office or voting.
453. Corruption, etc., by public officer or juror.
454. Giving of false certificate by public officer.
455. Destruction, etc., of document by public officer.
456. Destruction, etc., by officer of post office of postal packet.
457. Opening or delaying of postal packets.
458. Issuing money orders with fraudulent intent.
459. Disclosure by employee at telegraph station or office.
460. Obstruction of telegraphic service.
461. Oppression by officer of prison.
462. Corrupting public officer or juror.
463. Accepting bribe to influence public officer or juror.
464. Corrupt promise by judicial officer or juror.
465. Corrupt selection of juror.
466. Unlawful sale or purchase of office.
467. Prevention, etc., of election by force, etc.
468. Corruption, intimidation, and personation in respect of election.
469. Forging, etc., voting paper, etc.
470. Falsification of return at election.


Definitions and Special Provisions

471. Special provision as to sale and purchase of office.
472. Explanation as to corruption of public officer, etc.
473. Explanation as to corruption by public officer, etc.
474. Special explanation as to corruption of and by public officer, etc.
475. Corrupt agreement for lawful act.
476. Acceptance of bribe by public officer, etc., after doing act.
477. Promise of bribe to public officer, etc., after act done.
478. Explanation as to an election.
479. Provisions additional to those of other Acts.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

TITLE xxx
BIGAMY AND SIMILAR CRIMES


480. Definition of and special provision as to bigamy.
481. Bigamy.
482. Marriage with a person previously married.
483. Fictitious marriage.
484. Personation in marriage.
485. Unlawfully performing marriage ceremony.
486. Making false declaration, etc., for marriage.
487. False pretence of impediment to marriage.
488. Substitution of child.


TITLE xxxi

CRIMINAL PUBLIC NUISANCES


489. Publication or sale of blasphemous or obscene libel.
490. Committing grossly indecent act.
491. Hindering burial of dead body, etc.
492. Publishing false news.
493. Selling, etc., unwholesome food.
494. Carrying on of noxious trade, and other interferences with public rights.
495. Sending by post explosive, inflammable or deleterious substance or

indecent prints, words, etc.


TITLE xxxii
CONCLUDING PROVISIONS, REPEALS, ETC.


496. References to corresponding offences under previous and existing law.
497. Commencement of Code.


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CHAPTER 84


PENAL CODE

An Act to establish a Code of crimes punishable
on indictment, and of certain similar and other offences
punishable on summary conviction.

[Assent 15th May, 1924]
[Commencement 1st January, 1927]

1. This Act may be cited as the Penal Code and is
hereinafter referred to as “this Code”.

2. This Code is divided into Books and Titles as
follows —

BOOK I. – GENERAL PROVISIONS.

Title i. – Preliminary matters.
Title ii. – General and special rules of criminal law.
Title iii. – Special explanations relating to certain

offences.
Title iv. – Attempts to commit offences.
Title v. – Abetment and conspiracy.
Title vi. – Criminal responsibility and general

exemptions.
Title vii. – Justifiable force and harm.
Title viii. – Law as to punishments.

BOOK II. – SUMMARY OFFENCES.

Title ix. – Introductory provisions.
Title x. – Common assaults and harm to the person.
Title xi. – Brothels and immoral traffic.
Title xii. – Petty thefts and frauds.
Title xiii. – Common offences against rights to property.
Title xiv. – Petty frauds by forgery and false coin.


15 of 1873
17 of 1924
10 of 1926
33 of 1926
34 of 1926
28 of 1927
13 of 1929
22 of 1931
10 of 1932
7 of 1934
15 of 1936
16 of 1936
2 of 1938
27 of 1939
3 of 1945
26 of 1945
11 of 1951
17 of 1952
2 of 1953
27 of 1953
28 of 1953
29 or 1953
25 of 1954
1 of 1957
29 of 1957
10 of 1959
22 of 1959
39 of 1961
6 of 1963
G.N. 172/1964
G.N. 187/1964
43 of 1964
18 of 1965
27 of 1965
39 of 1965
14 of 1967
25 of 1968
38 of 1968
8 of 1969
13 of 1969
6 of 1971
15 of 1974
16 of 1976
12 of 1984
5 of 1987
12 of 1987
6 of 1988
2 of 1989
9 of 1991
12 of 1997
10 of 2000
6 of 2006
1 of 2007

CH.84 – 20] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010



Title xv. – Common offences against public order, health
and morality.

Title xvi. – Common offences relating to the public
service.

BOOK III. – INDICTABLE OFFENCES.

Title xvii. – Introductory provisions.

Offences against the Person and Reputation
Title xviii. – Assault and similar offences.
Title xix. – Crimes against females and of kidnapping and

abduction.
Title xx. – Homicide and similar crimes.
Title xxi. – Libel.

Offences against Rights of Property
Title xxii. – Arson and mischief to property.
Title xxiii. – Robbery, fraud and extortion.
Title xxiv. – Burglary and housebreaking.
Title xxv. – Forgery and false coin.

Offences against Public Order, Health and
Morality

Title xxvi. – Treason and crimes against the safety of the
state.

Title xxvii. – Crimes against the public peace.
Title xxviii. – Perjury and perversion of justice.
Title xxix. – Crimes relating to public offices and to public

elections.
Title xxx. – Bigamy and similar crimes.
Title xxxi. – Criminal public nuisances.
Title xxxii. – Concluding provisions, repeals, etc.

3. The following general rules shall be observed in
the construction of this Code, namely —

(1) all the provisions of Book I. shall be applied to
and be deemed to form part of every provision of
Books II. and III., in so far as they are applicable
to the matter of that provision, and are not
expressly or by necessary implication excluded,
limited or modified with respect to that matter;


29 of 1927.


29 of 1927.


General rules of
construction.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) this Code shall not be construed strictly, either
as against Her Majesty or as against a person
accused of any offence, but shall be construed
amply and beneficially for giving effect to the
purposes thereof;

(3) in the interpretation of this Code, a court shall
not be bound by any judicial decision or opinion
on the construction of any other statute, or of the
common law, as to the definition of any offence
or of any element of any offence;

(4) the illustrations annexed to this Code do not
form part thereof, and they shall not extend or
limit the meaning of any provision thereof.

Illustration

Para. (i) — A. is charged with the murder of B. In order to discover
what is the punishment to which A. will be liable if he is found guilty
of murder, reference must be made to Title xx., section 291. In order to
discover whether A’s act as proved amounts to murder, reference must
be made to the definitions and special provisions in the same Title xx.,
sections 289, 290 and 299 to 314; and these sections again must be
understood according to any Rules or explanations contained in Book
I. of the Code which are applicable to the case.

BOOK I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

TITLE i
PRELIMINARY MATTERS

4. In this Code —
“abetment” has the meaning assigned thereto in Title

v. of this Code (sections 86 to 90);
“act” includes any act by word or deed, and any

omission, and includes any series of acts or
omissions, and any combination of acts and
omissions;

“administer,” when used with reference to adminis-
tering any substance to a person, means the
causing the substance to be taken or introduced
into any part of a person’s body, whether with
or without his knowledge or consent;

Interpretation.

CH.84 – 22] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“adult” means a person who, in the opinion of the
court before whom he is brought, is eighteen
years of age or upwards;

“arson” means any offence punishable under any of
the first five sections of Title xxii. of this Code
(sections 323 to 327);

“article of agricultural produce” includes sisal, or any
other plant used exclusively in the production of
fibre, and the leaf and fibre obtained from the
sisal or any other fibrous plant, and bananas,
coconuts, corn, oranges, plantains, pineapples,
potatoes, sugar cane and other fruit and vege-
tables of every description, whether the same be
cultivated or uncultivated, and whether the same
shall be actually attached to the soil or shall have
fallen or been plucked or uprooted and whether
the land on which the same is at the time
growing or in course of cultivation be open or
enclosed and whatever the value may be;

“assault” has the several meanings defined in Title
iii. of this Code (sections 19 to 22);

“attempt”, in relation to the commission of an
offence, includes such acts as are so defined in
Title iv. of this Code (section 83);

“bigamy” has the meaning defined in Title xxx. of
this Code (section 480);

“book” includes every volume, part or division of a
volume, pamphlet and leaflet in any language,
and every sheet of music, map, chart or plan
separately printed or lithographed;

“building” means any structure, booth, tent, excava-
tion, cave or covered place, whether fixed or
movable, which is constructed, used or adapted
for the habitation or meeting, or shelter of
human beings, or for the keeping or shelter of
cattle or goods, or for the manufacture, keeping
or sale of goods; and any fixture in or attached
to a building is a part thereof;

“burglary” means the offence of house breaking, in
the case of a dwelling-house, committed at
night;

1 of 1957, s. 6.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 23





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“cattle” means the male, female or young of any
animal of any of the following kinds, namely:
any horse, ass, mule, kine, sheep, goat, swine,
or deer or other meat cattle, and includes any
animal (other than a dog) which is ordinarily
kept or used as a beast of burden, or for
draught, or for riding, or for the production of
wool or hair;

“child” means a person who, in the opinion of the
court before whom he is brought, is under the
age of fourteen years and of sufficient age and
capacity to commit crime;

“coin” means any metal used for the time being as
money, either in The Bahamas or in any other
place or country, and issued by authority of any
Government in order to be so used;

“company” and the terms “officer” and “account”
when used in relation to a company or corpora-
tion, bear the meanings defined and respectively
assigned thereto in section 5 of this Code;

“complaint” includes any information or charge;
“consent” has the meanings defined in Title ii. of this

Code (section 15);
“conspiracy” has the meanings defined in Title v. of

this Code (sections 89 and 90);
“corporation” is included in the term “company” but

does not include a corporation sole;
“counterfeit”, in relation to coin, has the meaning

defined in Title iii. of this Code (section 71);
“court”, when used —

(1) in Book I. of this Code, means either a
magistrate’s court in the exercise of its
jurisdiction in respect of summary offences
or the Supreme Court in the exercise of its
criminal jurisdiction, according to the cir-
cumstances of the particular case;

(2) in Book II. of this Code, means a magis-
trate’s court in the exercise of its
jurisdiction in respect of summary offences;

(3) in Book III. of this Code, means the
Supreme Court in the exercise of its
criminal jurisdiction;

16 of 1936, s. 2.

CH.84 – 24] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“crime” means any offence punishable on indictment,
whether under this Code or any other law, and
whether the offence be actually prosecuted
summarily or on indictment;

“currency note” means a note issued by or on behalf
of the Government of The Bahamas under and
by virtue of the Central Bank of The Bahamas
Act or any Act amending or repealing that Act
or a note issued by or on behalf of the
Government of any country outside The Baha-
mas;

“damage”, in relation to property, has the meanings
assigned thereto in Title iii. of this Code
(sections 67 to 69);

“defendant” means the person against whom a
complaint has been made;

“deliver” includes the causing a person to receive a
thing and the permitting a person to take a
thing, whether directly or by any other person;

“disaffection” includes disloyalty and all feelings of
enmity;

“document” includes part of a document, a bank
note, telegram, telegraphic code or cypher, and
any painting, drawing or photograph or other
visible representation;

“duress” means any force, harm, constraint or threat,
used with intent to cause a person against his
will to do or to abstain from doing any act;

“dwelling-house” means any building or vessel which,
or any part of which, is ordinarily or at the time
of the alleged offence occupied by any person,
whether as an owner or as a tenant, servant,
trespasser or otherwise, as a sleeping-place
during the night or any part of the night and, for
the purposes of this definition, every outhouse or
covered place which communicates, by any
interior or covered doorway, window, passage,
or other opening, with a building shall be
deemed to be a part of that building, whether the
doorway, window, passage or opening be


16 of 1936, s. 2.

Ch. 351.

16 of 1936, s. 2.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 25





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

used or disused or fastened or unfastened on
either or both sides, and whether the outhouse
or covered place be occupied by the same
person as the building or by a different person,
or be not occupied by any person;

“escape” includes the departure by a prisoner on
parole beyond the limits within which he is
allowed to be at large;

“false pretence” has the meanings defined in Title iii.
of this Code (sections 53, 58 and 59);

“felony” means and includes any indictable offence
on conviction for which a person can, without
proof of his having been previously convicted
of crime, be sentenced to death or to
imprisonment with hard labour for three years
or more, whether such offence be actually
prosecuted summarily or on indictment;

“fish” includes turtle;
“forgery” has the meaning defined in Title iii, of this

Code (section 70);
“fraud” has the meaning defined in Title ii. of this

Code (section 17);
“gaoler” means the keeper or other officer having the

charge of any prison;
“harm” and each varying degree of “harm”, in

relation to the person, has the several meanings
defined in Title iii. and Title vii. of this Code
(sections 23 to 32 and 97 to 114);

“health officer” includes every Government medical
officer, and any person appointed as health
officer or sanitary authority in virtue of the
provisions of any Act;

“highway” includes any street, road, way, alley,
footpath, sidewalk, square, open space, wharf,
bridge, pier, jetty, building or any other place
lawfully used by the public;

“house-breaking” has the meaning defined in Title
xxiv. of this Code (section 361);

CH.84 – 26] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

“imprisonment” means imprisonment within any
lawful prison within The Bahamas, and in the
case of imprisonment for three years or more,
imprisonment with hard labour, and, in the case
of imprisonment for less than three years,
imprisonment with or without hard labour, as
the court in its discretion thinks fit to direct;

“indictable offence” means any offence punishable
under Book III. of this Code, or punishable on
indictment under any other law;

“indictment” includes a criminal information triable
before a jury;

“infamous offence” means any felony punishable by
imprisonment for seven years or more, or any
indecent assault or unnatural connection with a
person or animal, or an attempt to commit, or an
abetment of or conspiracy for, any such offence
as aforesaid;

“insane person” has the meaning defined in Title vi.
of this Code (section 92);

“instrument of obeah” means any philtre, vial, blood,
bone, image, or other article or thing, which,
according to the testimony of two or more
credible witnesses, is used or intended to be
used for the practice of obeah;

“intent” has the several meanings assigned to that
term in Title ii. of this Code (section 12);

“intoxication” means and includes the state of a
person being under the influence of intoxicating
liquor or stupefying drug or other matter;

“judicial proceeding” includes any civil or criminal
trial, and any inquiry or investigation held by a
judicial officer in pursuance of any duty or
authority;

“juvenile offender” includes any offender who is
proved to be, or in the absence of legal proof to
the contrary appears to the court to be, of or
above ten years of age and under eighteen years
of age;

3 of 1945, s. 4.
1 of 2007, Sixth
Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 27





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“mail bag” includes a bag, box, parcel or any other
envelope or covering in which postal packets in
course of transmission by post are conveyed,
whether it does or does not contain any such
packets;

“maim” means the destruction or permanent dis-
abling of any external or internal organ, mem-
ber, or sense;

“misdemeanour” means any crime which is not a
felony;

“negligence” has the meaning defined in Title ii. of
this Code (section 13);

“newspaper” means any periodical work containing
public news or comments on public news;

“night” means the time between the hours of seven
o’clock in the evening of any day and the hour
of five o’clock in the following morning;

“oath” includes any form of declaration or affirma-
tion permitted or prescribed by law to be taken
as or in lieu of an oath;

“obeah” means any pretended assumption of super-
natural power or knowledge, whatever, for
fraudulent or illicit purposes, or for gain, or for
the injury of any person;

“offence” means either a summary offence or an
indictable offence;

“officer of the revenue” means any of the officers of
the revenue department of the Government of
The Bahamas or any person especially
employed on any duty or service relating to the
revenue by the orders or with the concurrence
of the Governor-General;

“official document” means any document purporting
to be made, used or issued by any public officer
for any purpose relating to his office;

“order” includes any conviction;
“partnership” is included in the term “company”;
“peace officer” means any person being or acting as

a constable or special constable, or lawfully
acting in aid of any such person, and includes
any gaoler and male prison officer acting in
discharge of the duties of the office;

CH.84 – 28] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“perjury” has the meaning defined in Title xxviii. of
this Code (section 423);

“person” includes any body of persons, corporate or
unincorporate; and, for the purpose of any
provision of this Code relating to defrauding a
person or to committing any offence against the
property of any person, the Government of The
Bahamas, or of any other place or State, shall be
deemed to be a person;

“personation” has the meaning defined in Title iii. of
this Code (section 60);

“possession” (where the custody by any person of
any matter or thing is in question) includes not
only the having of the matter or thing in his
personal custody or possession, but also the
knowingly and wilfully having it in the actual
custody or possession of any other party, and
also the knowingly and wilfully having it in any
premises open or enclosed, whether belonging
to or occupied by himself or not and whether
such matter or thing shall be for his own benefit
or for that of another;

“postal packet” means a letter, post card, reply post
card, newspaper, book, packet, pattern or
sample packet, or parcel, and every packet or
article transmissible by post; and for the
purposes of this Code —
(i) a postal packet shall be deemed to be in

course of transmission by post from the
time of its being delivered to a post office
to the time of its being delivered to the
person to whom it is addressed;

(ii) the delivery of a postal packet of any
description to a letter carrier or other
person authorised to receive postal
packets of that description for the post
shall be a delivery to a post office;

(iii) the delivery of a postal packet at the house
or office of the person to whom the packet
is addressed, or to him or to his servant or
agent or other person considered to be
authorised to receive the packet, according
to the usual manner of delivering the
person’s postal packets, shall be a delivery
to the person addressed;

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 29





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“premises” includes lands, houses and other corpor-
eal hereditaments;

“prison” means the prison in New Providence or any
cell at a police station or other duly authorised
place of detention;

“public” and expressions referring to “the public”
include, and refer to, not only the whole of Her
Majesty’s subjects within the jurisdiction of the
courts, but also the persons inhabiting or using
any particular place or any number of such
persons, and also such indeterminate persons as
may happen to be affected by the conduct with
reference to which such expressions are used;

“public election” means any election the qualification
for voting at which, or the mode of voting at
which, is determined or regulated by law or
custom;

“public office” and “public officer” have the mean-
ings respectively assigned to these terms in
section 6 of this Code;

“public place” includes any public way and any
building, place or conveyance to which for the
time being the public are entitled or permitted
to have access, either without any condition, or
upon condition of making payment, and any
building or place which is for the time being
used for any public or religious meeting or
assembly, or as an open court, and also barges,
lighters or vessels used for the purpose of
bringing cargoes from ships to the shore or
from the shore to ships, and also the ships from
or to which such cargoes are being transferred,
and also all ships being in any harbour within
sight or hearing of any other public place;

“public way” includes any highway, or other way
which is lawfully used by the public;

“publicly”, used in connection with acts done in
public, means and includes any act which is so
done —
(1) in any public place, as to be likely to be

seen by any person, whether such person
be or be not in a public place; or

29 of 1927.

CH.84 – 30] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) in any place, not being a public place, as to
be likely to be seen by any person in any
public place;

“receiving” (in relation to stolen property) has the
meaning defined in Title iii. of this Code (section
62);

“riot” has the meaning defined in Title iii. of this
Code (section 78);

“robbery” is stealing accompanied with actual vio-
lence, or threats of violence to any person or
property, used with intent to extort the property
stolen, or to prevent or overcome resistance to
its being stolen;

“section” means section of this Code;
“send” includes the causing, or attempting in any

manner to cause, a thing to be received by a
person;

“stamp duty” includes any poundage or commission
chargeable by the Government;

“statute” includes any Act of the Parliament of the
United Kingdom which applies to The
Bahamas;

“stealing,” in the various significations of that term,
has the meanings defined in Title iii. of this
Code (sections 46 to 57);

“summary offence” means any offence punishable
under Book II. of this Code, or punishable on
summary conviction under any other law;

“telegraph” and “telegram” include radio-telegraph
and radio-telegram;

“threat” has the meaning defined in Title ii. of this
Code (section 18);

“unlawful assembly” has the meaning defined in
Title iii. of this Code (section 79);

“valuable consideration” means any money or
money’s worth or valuable thing; and, when
used in connection with offences of bribery or
corruption, includes any office, or dignity and
any forbearance to demand money or money’s
worth, or any valuable thing, and any private
advantage of whatsoever kind;

5 of 1987. Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 31





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“vehicle” includes carriage, cart, dray, wagon,
bicycle, tricycle and velocipede;

“vessel” means any kind of ship, boat or raft;
“violence” means any criminal force or harm to any

person or any criminal mischief to any property,
or any threat or offer of such force, harm or
mischief, or the carrying or use of deadly,
dangerous or offensive instruments in such a
manner as that terror is likely to be caused to any
person, or such conduct as is likely to cause in
any person a reasonable apprehension of crim-
inal force, harm or mischief to them or their
property;

“will,” when used with respect to a document, means
any testamentary document, whether the same
be formal or informal, complete or incomplete;

“wound” means any incision or puncture which
divides or pierces any exterior membrane of the
body; and any membrane is exterior, for the
purpose of this definition, which can be touched
without dividing or piercing any other mem-
brane;

“young person” means a person who, in the opinion
of the court before whom he is brought, is
fourteen years of age and under eighteen years
of age.

5. (1) In this Code “company” includes any partner-
ship or association whether corporate or unincorporate, and
whether the purposes thereof be or be not the carrying on of
any trade or business, and whether it be in course of
formation or be actually formed, or be in course of
dissolution, winding-up or liquidation.

(2) A company is in course of formation so soon as
any act is done for the purpose of forming it; and it is
immaterial whether or not it be at any time actually
formed.

(3) “Officer” of a company or corporation includes
any officer, chairman, director, trustee, manager, secre-
tary, treasurer, cashier, clerk, auditor, accountant or other
person provisionally, permanently or temporarily charged


3 of 1945, s. 4.

Provisions
relating to a
company and its
officers.

CH.84 – 32] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

with or performing any duty or function in respect of the
affairs of the company or corporation, whether for or
without any remuneration.

(4) “Account”, when used with reference to a
company or corporation, includes any book, register,
balance-sheet or document in writing relating to the affairs
of a company or corporation, whether such affairs be or be
not the ordinary business or object of the company or
corporation.

6. In this Code “public officer” means any person
holding any of the following offices, or performing the
duties thereof, whether as a deputy or otherwise, namely —

(1) any civil office, including the office of Governor-
General, the power of appointing a person to
which or of removing a person from which is
vested in Her Majesty, or in the Governor-
General, or in any public commission or board or
committee;

(2) any office to which a person is nominated or
appointed by statute or by public election;

(3) any civil office, the power of appointing to
which or of removing from which is vested in
any person or persons holding public office of
any kind included in either of subsections (1) or
(2) of this section;

(4) any office of arbitrator or umpire in any
proceeding or matter submitted to arbitration by
order or with the sanction of any court;

(5) any justice of the peace.
A person acting as a minister of religion or

ecclesiastical officer, of whatsoever denomination, is a
public officer in so far as he performs functions in respect
of the notification of intended marriage, or in respect of the
solemnisation of marriage, or in respect of the making or
keeping of any register or certificate of marriage, birth,
baptism, death or burial, but not in any other respect.

“Civil office” means any public office other than an
office in the naval, military or air service of Her
Majesty;

“public office” means the office of any public officer;
“judicial officer” means any person executing

judicial functions as a public officer.

Definition of
public officers,
etc.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 33





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

It is immaterial, for the purposes of this section,
whether a person be or be not entitled to any salary or other
remuneration in respect of the duties of his office.

7. (1) An expression to which in this Title a
meaning is assigned, either explicitly or by a reference to
any other part of this Code, has that meaning throughout
this Code, unless in any case the context in which, or the
matter with respect to which, the expression is used
requires that a different meaning should be assigned to it.

(2) Any definition or explanation of a word shall be
applied to the derivatives or different grammatical forms of
that word so far as it is applicable thereto, and shall also be
applied in construing any provision of this Code to the
matter of which that definition or explanation is relevant,
although neither that word nor any of its derivatives or
different grammatical forms occurs or occur in such
provision.

8. This Code applies to every person who is in The
Bahamas at the time of his doing any act or making any
omission which constitutes an offence.

9. When an act, which, if wholly done within the
jurisdiction of the court, would be an offence against this
Code, is done partly within and partly beyond the
jurisdiction, every person who within the jurisdiction does
or abets any part of such act may be tried and punished
under this Code in the same manner as if such act had been
done wholly within the jurisdiction.

10. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any
other written law, where any person on board a Bahamian
vessel does any act or makes any omission which would
be an offence if done or made in The Bahamas, that person
shall, regardless of the position of the Bahamian vessel at
the time of the act or omission, be guilty of that offence
and may be tried by any court which would have had
cognisance of the offence had that offence been committed
in The Bahamas.

(2) A law enforcement officer may, in the course of
his duty, board and search any Bahamian vessel to which
the jurisdiction of the courts has been extended under
subsection (1) and, if he has reasonable grounds to believe


General
explanations with
respect to the
interpretation of
expressions.

Application of
Code to offences
committed in The
Bahamas.

Acts done partly
beyond the
jurisdiction.

6 of 1988, s. 2.

Jurisdiction in
case of offence
on board
Bahamian vessel.

CH.84 – 34] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

that any person on board that vessel is guilty of an offence
referred to in subsection (1), the law enforcement officer
may arrest that person and may for that purpose use all
reasonable force.

(3) A person arrested in accordance with this
section shall forthwith be taken before a magistrate or to a
police station, to be dealt with according to law.

(4) In this section —
“Bahamian vessel” includes any ship or boat, or any

other description of vessel used in navigation, however
propelled, and which —

(a) is registered under the Boat Registration Act, the
Water Skiing and Motor Boat Control Act,
1970, or the Merchant Shipping Act, 1976; or

(b) is wholly owned by persons (whether singly or
in association) who are —

(i) citizens of The Bahamas;
(ii) permanent residents of The Bahamas

within the meaning ascribed by the
Immigration Act, 1967; or

(iii) bodies corporate established under the
laws of The Bahamas, and having their
principal place of business in The
Bahamas, of which the beneficial
ownership belongs wholly to any persons
mentioned in subparagraph (i) or (ii); or

(c) is registered in a country or territory the
Government of which has with the Government
of The Bahamas a bilateral arrangement permit-
ting the boarding and search of any such vessel
by law enforcement officers and the arrest by
such officers of persons on board any such
vessel;

“law enforcement officer” means a member of the
Royal Bahamas Defence Force, a member of the Royal
Bahamas Police Force, an Immigration officer or an officer
of Customs.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) any certificate
under the hand of the Minister responsible for Foreign
Affairs that a bilateral arrangement exists between a
particular government and that of The Bahamas shall be
conclusive evidence as to that fact.

5 of 1988, s. 6.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 35





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

11. Nothing in this Code shall affect —
(1) the liability, trial or punishment of a person for

an offence against any statute other than this
Code;

(2) the power of any court to punish a person for
contempt of such court;

(3) the liability or trial of a person, or the
punishment of a person under any sentence
passed or to be passed, in respect of any act
done or commenced before the commencement
of this Code;

(4) any power of Her Majesty, or of the Governor-
General as the representative of Her Majesty, to
grant a pardon, or to remit or commute in whole
or in part, or to respite the execution of any
sentence passed or to be passed;

(5) any of the laws, regulations or articles for the
time being in force for the government of Her
Majesty’s naval, military or air forces;

(6) the liability of a person under the common law:
Provided that if a person does an act which is

punishable under this Code, and is also punishable under
another law of any of the kinds mentioned in this section,
he shall not be punished for that act both under that law
and also under this Code.

TITLE ii
GENERAL AND SPECIAL RULES OF

CRIMINAL LAW
12. (1) If a person does an act for the purpose of

thereby causing or contributing to cause an event, he
intends to cause that event, within the meaning of this
Code, although either in fact or in his belief, or both in fact
and also in his belief, the act is unlikely to cause or to
contribute to cause the event.

(2) If a person does an act voluntarily, believing that
it will probably cause or contribute to cause an event, he
intends to cause that event, within the meaning of this
Code, although he does not do the act for the purpose of
causing or of contributing to cause the event.

Saving of certain
laws.

13 of 1929, s. 2.

Provisions
relating to intent
and as to what
constitutes an
overt act.

See ss. 29 and
83(6).

CH.84 – 36] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) If a person does an act of such a kind or in such
a manner as that, if he used reasonable caution and
observation, it would appear to him that the act would
probably cause or contribute to cause an event, or that there
would be great risk of the act causing or contributing to
cause an event, he shall be presumed to have intended to
cause that event, until it is shown that he believed that the
act would probably not cause or contribute to cause the
event.

(4) If a person, intending to cause an event with
respect to one or some of several persons or things, or to
such indeterminate person or thing as may happen to be
affected by his act, causes such event with respect to any
such person or thing, he shall be liable in the same manner
as if he had intended to cause the event with respect to that
person or thing.

(5) If a person does an act with intent to assault,
harm, kill or cause any other event to a particular person,
and his act happens to take effect, whether completely or
incompletely, against a different person, he shall be liable
to be tried and punished as if his intent had been directed
against that different person; but any ground of defence or
extenuation shall be admissible on behalf of the accused
person, which would have been admissible if his act had
taken effect against the person or in respect of which he
intended it to take effect.

Illustrations

Subs.(1) — A. discharges a gun for the purpose of shooting B., and
actually hits him. It is immaterial that B. was at such a distance, or in
such a situation, that the shot would most probably miss B.

Subs. (2) — A., for the purpose of causing the miscarriage of B.,
administers to her a medicine which he knows to be dangerous to life.
It is immaterial that he earnestly desires to avoid causing B.’s death,
and uses every precaution to avoid causing it.

Subs. (3) — A. discharges a gun among a crowd of persons, and
one of them is shot. A. must be presumed to have intended to cause
harm, unless he can show that he had such ground for believing that
harm would not be caused, that his act was merely negligent.

Subs. (4) — A., in the last illustration, is punishable as if he had
purposed to cause the harm to the person to whom it was in fact
caused.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 37





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



Subs. (5) — A. unlawfully strikes at B., but the blow happens to
miss B., and to hit a peace officer. A. is punishable as if he had
purposed to hit the peace officer, but he is not liable to the increased
punishment provided by section 265 for an intentional assault on a
peace officer.

13. (1) A person causes an event negligently if,
without intending to cause the event, he causes it by
voluntary act, done without such skill and precaution as are
reasonably necessary under the circumstances, or as he is
in the particular case bound by law to have and use, for
preventing the event from being caused.

(2) Moreover, if an act is such that, notwithstanding
the use of skill and precaution, it is likely to cause an event
which there is no justification for causing, the act (if not
done with intent to cause that event) is negligently done
with reference to causing that event, even though it be done
with skill and precaution.

Illustrations

Subs.(1)—(a) A., a woman having no knowledge of midwifery,
acts as a midwife, and through her want of skill she causes death. Here,
if A. knew that a properly qualified midwife or surgeon could be
procured, the fact of A. so acting, without possessing proper skill and
without any necessity for so acting, is evidence of negligence, although
it appears that she did her best. But if the emergency was sudden, and
no properly qualified midwife or surgeon could be procured, A. is not
guilty of negligence, provided she did the best she could under the
circumstances.

(b) A chemist sells poison so made up as to be liable to be
mistaken for a harmless medicine. This is evidence of negligence.

(c) If the law directs poison to be sold in bottles of a particular
kind, and the chemist sells poison in a common bottle, this is evidence
of negligence, even though the common bottle be labelled “Poison.”

Subs. (2) —(a) A., knowing a horse to be dangerously vicious,
rides it through a crowd, and it becomes excited by the noise and
throng, and kicks B. A. is guilty within this subsection, notwith-
standing that he had and used all possible skill in riding.

(b) An acrobat carries a child on a tight-rope at a great height. He
happens to miss his footing, and the child is killed. He is guilty of
manslaughter, notwithstanding that he had and used all possible skill in
rope-walking.



Provisions
relating to
negligence.

CH.84 – 38] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

14. (1) If a person intentionally or negligently
causes an involuntary agent to cause an event, that person
shall be deemed to have caused the event. “Involuntary
agent” means any animal or other thing, and also any
person who is exempted from liability to punishment for
causing the event, by reason of infancy, or insanity, or
otherwise, under the provisions of Title vi. of this Code.

(2) If an event is caused by the acts of several
persons acting either jointly or independently, each of
those persons who has intentionally or negligently
contributed to cause the event shall, subject to the
provisions of subsection (3) of this section, and to the
provisions of Title v. of this Code with respect to abetment,
be deemed to have caused the event; but any matter of
exemption, justification, extenuation or aggravation which
exists in the case of any one of those persons shall have
effect in his case, whether it exists or not in the case of any
of the other persons.

(3) A person shall not be convicted of having
intentionally or negligently caused an event if, notwith-
standing his act and the acts of any person acting jointly
with him, the event would not have happened but for the
existence of some state of facts or the intervention of some
other event or of some other person, the probability of the
existence or intervention of which other event or person the
accused person did not take into consideration, and had no
reason to take into consideration. This provision shall not
apply where a person is charged with having caused an
event by an omission to perform a duty for averting the
event.

(4) If a person beyond the jurisdiction of the courts
causes an involuntary agent to cause an event within the
jurisdiction, he shall be deemed to have caused the event
within the jurisdiction.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this section and to
the special provisions of any particular Title of this Code, it
is a question of fact whether an event is fairly and
reasonably to be ascribed to a person’s act as having been
caused thereby.

(6) A person shall not, by reason of anything in this
section, be relieved from any liability in respect of an
attempt to cause an event; and a person shall not, by
reason of anything in this section, be relieved from any


Provisions
relating to
causing an event.
See ss. 29 and
306.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 39





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

liability in respect of negligent conduct, if such negligent
conduct is punishable under this Code irrespectively of
whether it actually causes any event.

Illustrations

Subs.(1) —(a) A. gives poisoned sweetmeats to a child, who eats
some and gives the rest to other children. A. has poisoned the first child
and also the other children.

(b) A. induces a child under seven years of age to steal a thing for
him. A. has stolen the thing.

(c) A. induces a madman to kill himself. A. has killed the madman.

(d) A. causes a dog to harm B. A. has caused the harm to B.

Subs. (2) —A railway collision is caused partly by the neglect of
A., a stationmaster, to signal a train; partly by the neglect of B., a
pointsman, to arrange the points; partly by the carelessness of C., D.,
E., and F., the drivers and guards of the trains. A., B., C., D., E., and F.,
have each caused the collision, although it would not have happened if
any one of them had used proper skill and precaution.

Subs. (3) —(a) A. rides a vicious horse in a crowd. B. wantonly
strikes the horse, and it kicks C. In this case B., and not A., has caused
the harm to C.

(b) A., who is a signalman, improperly leaves his post. B., who is a
trespasser, in A’s absence unlawfully alters the signals, and a collision
ensues. A. is punishable as for having negligently caused the collision
by omission to attend to his duty. B. is also punishable for having
intentionally or negligently caused the collision.

Subs. (4) —A., in Jamaica, posts a letter to B. in The Bahamas
borrowing money from B. on the credit of a cargo which A. by the
letter falsely represents that he has shipped for B. B. sends the money
on the faith of the representation. A. has defrauded B. in The Bahamas.

Subs. (6) —A. shoots from a distance at B., who is on horseback,
with intent to maim him. B.’s horse is startled by the shot and throws
B., who is killed by the fall. Here, by reason of the rule in Subs. (3), A.
cannot be convicted of having intentionally or negligently killed B.
(unless he expected, or had reason to expect, that B’s horse would be
startled). But A. is punishable for his attempt to kill B.

CH.84 – 40] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

15. In construing any provision of this Code by
which it is required for a criminal act or criminal intent that
an act should be done or intended to be done without a
person’s consent, or by which it is required for a matter of
justification or exemption that an act should be done with a
person’s consent, the following rules shall be observed,
namely —

(1) a consent shall be void if the person giving it is
under ten years of age, or is, by reason of
insanity, or of immaturity, or of any other
permanent or temporary incapacity, whether
from intoxication or any other cause, unable to
understand the nature or consequences of the act
to which he consents;

(2) a consent shall be void if it is obtained by means
of deceit or of duress;

(3) a consent shall be void if it is obtained by the
undue exercise of any official, parental, or other
authority; and any such authority which is
exercised otherwise than in good faith for the
purposes for which it is allowed by law, shall be
deemed to be unduly exercised;

(4) a consent given on behalf of a person by his
parent, guardian or any other person authorised
by law to give or refuse consent on his behalf,
shall be void if it is given otherwise than in good
faith for the benefit of the person on whose
behalf it is given;

(5) a consent shall be of no effect if it is given by
reason of a mistake of fact;

(6) a consent shall be deemed to have been obtained
by means of deceit or of duress, or of the undue
exercise of authority, or to have been given by
reason of a mistake of fact, if it would have been
refused but for such deceit, duress, exercise of
authority or mistake, as the case may be; and

(7) for the purposes of this section, exercise of
authority is not limited to exercise of authority
by way of command, but includes influence or
advice purporting to be used or given by virtue
of an authority:

Provisions
relating to
consent.
1 of 2007, Sixth
Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 41





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Provided that no person shall be prejudiced by the
invalidity of any consent if he did not know, and could not
by the exercise of reasonable diligence have known, of
such invalidity.

Illustrations

Para. (i) —A. induces a person in a state of incapacity from idiocy
or intoxication, or a child under seven years of age, to consent to his
hair being cut off by A. Such consent is void.

Para. (ii) —A., by pretending to have the consent of a girl’s father,
or under pretence of medical treatment, or by threats of imprisonment,
induces a girl to consent to sexual intercourse. Such consent is void.

Para. (iii) —A. cruelly beats a child. It is no defence for A. that the
child’s father authorised the beating, or that the child’s father, by the
exercise of his parental authority, induced the child to consent.

Para. (v) —A. induces a woman to consent to his having carnal
knowledge of her by personating her husband. Her consent is void.

[Ch84s16]

16. A claim of right means a claim of right in good
faith.

Illustration

A. is charged with unlawfully wounding B. He sets up the defence
that he found B. in his house at night and mistook him for a burglar.
Here, if the court or jury believe A.’s defence, and think that A. acted
with reasonable caution under the circumstances, and that if A.’s belief
had been correct, he would have been justified in acting as he did. A.
ought to be acquitted (section 96).

17. For the purpose of any provision of this Code by
which any forgery, falsification or other unlawful act is
punishable if used or done with intent to defraud, an intent
to defraud means an intent to cause, by means of such
forgery, falsification or other unlawful act, any gain
capable of being measured in money, or the possibility of
any such gain, to any person at the expense or to the loss of
any other person.

Provisions
relating to claim
of right.

Provisions
relating to fraud.
See s. 366.

CH.84 – 42] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Illustrations

(1) —A. unlawfully alters B.’s will so as to increase or reduce the
amount of a legacy left by B. to C. Here A. is guilty of forgery with
intent to defraud (section 366), although A. may have no interest in the
matter.

(2) —A. unlawfully alters the date on a bill of exchange, for the
purpose of postponing the time at which he or any other person may be
called upon to pay it. Since such postponement may be a gain to A. or
to such other person, A. is guilty of forgery with intent to defraud.

(3) —A. forges B.’s signature to a deed, not for the purpose of gain
to himself or to any other person, but for the purpose of falsely
charging C. with the forgery. Here A. is not guilty of forgery with
intent to defraud, but he is liable to be punished under section 426.

18. (1) In this Code —
“threat” means —

(a) any threat of criminal force or harm;
(b) any threat of criminal mischief to property;
(c) any threat of libel or of slander;
(d) any threat that a person shall be prosecuted

on a charge of having committed any
offence whether the alleged offence is
punishable under this Code or under any
other law, and whether it has or has not
been committed.

(2) Any expression in this Code referring to a threat
shall also be deemed to include any offer to abstain from
doing, or to procure any other person to abstain from
doing, anything the threat of which is a threat of any of the
kinds in this section before mentioned.

(3) It is immaterial whether a threat be that the
matter thereof shall be executed by the person using the
threat, or against or in relation to the person to whom the
threat is used, or by, or against, or in relation to any other
person.

(4) It is immaterial whether a threat or offer be
conveyed to any person by words, or by writing, or in any
other manner, and whether it be conveyed directly, or
through any other person, or in any other manner.

Provisions
relating to the
meaning and use
of threats.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 43





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TITLE iii
SPECIAL EXPLANATIONS AND

PROVISIONS RELATING TO CERTAIN
OFFENCES

Assault
19. (1) “Assault” includes —
(a) assault and battery;
(b) assault without actual battery;
(c) imprisonment, or detention and compulsion.
(2) Every assault is unlawful unless it is justified on

one of the grounds mentioned in Title vii. of this Code.
20. (1) A person makes an assault and battery upon

another person if, without the other person’s consent, and
with the intention of causing harm, pain, fear or annoyance
to the other person, or of exciting him to anger, he forcibly
touches the other person, or causes any person, animal or
matter to touch him forcibly.

(2) This definition is subject to the following
provisions —

(a) where the consent of the other person to be
forcibly touched has been obtained by deceit, it
suffices with respect to intention that the touch
is intended to be such as to cause harm or pain,
or is intended to be such as, but for the consent
obtained by the deceit, would have been likely
to cause fear or annoyance or to excite to anger;

(b) where the other person is insensible, unconscious
or insane, or is, by reason of infancy or any other
circumstance, unable to give or refuse consent, it
suffices, with respect to intention, either that the
touch is intended to cause harm, pain, fear, or
annoyance to him, or that the touch is intended to
be such as would be likely to cause harm, pain,
fear or annoyance to him, or to excite his anger, if
he were able to give or refuse consent, and were
not consenting;

(c) any the slightest actual touch suffices for an
assault and battery, if the intention is such as is
required by this section;

Different kinds
of assault.

Definition of and
provisions
relating to assault
and battery.

CH.84 – 44] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(d) a person is touched, within the meaning of this
section, if his body is touched, or if any clothes
or other thing in contact with his body or with
the clothes upon his body are or is touched,
although his body is not actually touched; and

(e) for the purpose of this section, with respect to
intention to cause harm, pain, fear or annoyance,
it is immaterial whether the intention be to cause
the harm, pain, fear or annoyance by the force or
manner of the touch itself, or to forcibly expose
the person, or cause him to be exposed, to harm,
pain, fear or annoyance from any other cause.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A. strikes B. or spits upon him, or causes a dog to
bite him, or in any manner causes him to fall or be thrown upon the
ground. Here, if A.’s intention was to cause harm, pain, fear or
annoyance to B., or to excite B.’s anger, A. is guilty of an assault and
battery.

(b) A. puts his hands on B.’s shoulders in order to attract the
attention of B., using no unnecessary force. A. is not guilty of an
assault and battery.

Subs. (2) —(a) A., under a false pretence of surgical treatment,
induces B. to consent to harm or pain. A. is guilty of an assault and
battery.

(b) A. kicks B., who is insensible. A. is guilty of an assault and
battery, even though the kick be merely such that no pain will be felt
by B. upon his recovering sensibility.

(c) A. pushes B. so as to cause him to fall into water. A. is guilty of
an assault and battery, although the push is so slight as not of itself to
be material.

21. (1) A person makes an assault without actual
battery on another person, if, by any act apparently done in
commencement of an assault and battery, he intentionally
puts the other person in fear of an instant assault and
battery.

(2) This definition is subject to the following
provisions —

Definitions of
and provisions
relating to assault
without actual
battery.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 45





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(a) it is not necessary that an actual assault and
battery should be intended, or that the instru-
ment or means by which the assault and battery
is apparently intended to be made should be, or
should by the person using them be believed to
be, of such a kind or in such a condition as that
an assault and battery could be made by means
of them;

(b) a person can make an assault, within the
meaning of this section by moving, or causing
any person, animal or matter to move, towards
another person, although he, or the person,
animal or matter is not yet within such a
distance from the other person as that an assault
and battery can be made; and

(c) an assault can be made on a person, within the
meaning of this section, although he can avoid
actual assault and battery by retreating, or by
consenting to do, or to abstain from doing, any
act.

Illustrations

Subs. (2) —(a) A. presents a pistol at B. in such manner as to give
B. reasonable ground for apprehending that he will be immediately
shot. Here A. is guilty of assault, although A. does not intend to fire,
and although the pistol is not loaded, and although A. knows that it is
not loaded.

(b) A., at a distance of 10 yards from B., runs at B. with apparent
intention of striking him, and intending to put B. in fear of an
immediate beating. Here A. is guilty of an assault, although he never
comes within actual reach of B.

(c) A., being near B., lifts a stick and threatens that he will at once
strike B., unless B. will immediately apologise. Here A. has committed
an assault.

22. (1) A person imprisons another person if,
intentionally and without the other person’s consent, he
detains the other person in a particular place, of whatever
extent or character and whether enclosed or not, or
compels him to move or be carried in any particular
direction.

Definition of and
provisions
relating to
imprisonment,
detention and
compulsion.

CH.84 – 46] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) This definition is subject to the following
provisions, namely, that detention or compulsion may be
constituted, within the meaning of this section, either by
force or by any physical obstruction to a person’s escape or
by causing him to believe that he cannot depart from a
place, or refuse to move or be carried in a particular
direction, without overcoming force or incurring danger of
harm, pain, and annoyance, or by causing him to believe
that he is under legal arrest or by causing him to believe
that he will immediately be imprisoned if he does not
consent to do, or to abstain from doing, any act.

Illustrations

(1) A. detains B. on board a ship. Here A. imprisons B. although B.
is left free within the ship; and, if B. was prevented from leaving the
ship until she sailed, B. is imprisoned so long as he necessarily or
reasonably continues on board the ship, even though during part of the
time he would have been free to leave if there had been any means of
leaving.

(2) A., by falsely pretending that B. is under arrest, prevents B.
from leaving B.’s own house. Here A. imprisons B.

Unlawful Harm to the Person
23. (1) In this Code —
“harm” means any bodily hurt, disease or disorder,

whether permanent or temporary;
“grievous harm” means any harm which amounts to a

maim or dangerous harm as hereinafter defined, or which
seriously or permanently injures health, or which is likely
so to injure health, or which extends to permanent
disfigurement or to any external or internal organ, member
or sense;

“dangerous harm” means harm endangering life.
(2) Where death, caused by harm, takes place within

a year and a day of the harm being caused, the special
provisions, relating to homicide, under Title xx. of this
Code may become applicable.

24. Harm is unlawful which is intentionally or
negligently caused without any of the justifications
mentioned in Title vii. of this Code.

Definition of
different kinds of
harm.

Definition of
unlawful harm.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 47





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

25. A person causes harm by an omission, within
the meaning of this Code, if harm is caused by his
omission to perform any such duty for preventing harm as
in section 26 of this Code is mentioned, and in no other
case.

26. A person is under a duty for preventing harm to
another person —

(1) if he is under a duty, as mentioned in section 27
of this Code, to supply a person with the
necessaries of health and life; or

(2) if he is otherwise under a duty, by virtue of the
provisions of any statute, or by virtue of any
office or employment, or by virtue of a lawful
order of any court or person, or by virtue of any
agreement or undertaking, to do any act for the
purpose of thereby averting harm from any
person, whether ascertained or unascertained.

27. (1) A man is under a duty to supply the
necessaries of health and life to his wife, being actually
under his control, and to his legitimate or illegitimate child,
being actually under his control and not being of such age
and capacity as to be able to obtain such necessaries. A
guardian is under the like duty with respect of his ward,
being actually under his control.

(2) A woman, upon being delivered of a child,
whether legitimate or illegitimate, is under a duty, so far as
she is able, to summon assistance and to do all such other
acts as are necessary and reasonable for preserving the
child from harm by exposure, exhaustion or otherwise by
reason of its condition as a newly-born child. She is also
under a duty, so far as she is able, to support and take
reasonable care of the child, being under her control or in
her care or charge, until it can safely be weaned.

(3) A person who, by virtue of office as a gaoler,
relieving officer or otherwise, or by reason of the
provisions of any statute, is bound to supply any of the
necessaries of health and life to a person, is under a duty to
supply them accordingly.

(4) A person who wrongfully imprisons another
person is under a duty to supply him with the necessaries
of health and life.

Explanation as to
causing harm by
omission.

Cases in which a
person is under
duty to prevent
harm to another
person.

Cases in which a
person is under
duty to supply
another person
with necessaries
of health and life.

CH.84 – 48] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(5) A person who has agreed or undertaken to
supply any of the necessaries of health and life to another
person, whether as his servant, apprentice or otherwise, is
under a duty to supply them accordingly.

(6) If a person is under a duty as hereinbefore in this
section mentioned and he has not the means for perform-
ing the duty, and there is any person or public authority
bound to furnish him with the means, he is under a duty to
take all reasonable steps for obtaining the means from that
person or authority.

(7) If a person, being under a duty to supply any of
the necessaries of health and life to another person,
lawfully charges his wife, servant or any other person with
the supply of such necessaries and furnishes the means for
that purpose, the wife, servant or other person so charged is
under a duty to supply such necessaries accordingly.

(8) “Necessaries of health and life” includes proper
food, clothing, shelter, warmth, medical or surgical
treatment, and any other matters, which are reasonably
necessary for the preservation of the health and life of a
person.

Illustration

Subs. (6) —The father or mother of a child, having no means of
providing the child with food or medical attendance, is bound to seek
assistance from any officer (if any) appointed to relieve the poor, but is
not bound to beg for private charity.

28. (1) Where, under the provisions of either of
sections 26 and 27 of this Code, a duty is constituted by an
office, employment, agreement, or undertaking, the duty is
sufficiently constituted in the case of a person who is
actually performing the functions belonging to the office or
employment, or who is acting as if he were under such an
agreement or undertaking with respect to another person.

(2) No person is excused from liability for failure to
perform a duty, within the meaning of either of sections 26
and 27 of this Code, on the ground that another person is
also under the same duty, whether jointly with him or
independently of him, and whether on the same or on
different ground.

Explanations as
to office, etc.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 49





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



Illustrations

Subs.(1) —(a) A deputy gaoler, even though unlawfully
appointed, is under all the duties of a gaoler in relation to his
prisoners.

(b) A master is under all the duties of a master in relation to
his apprentice, even though the articles of apprenticeship are
void.

29. The general provisions of Title ii. of this Code
with respect to causing an event are, in their application to
the matters of Titles x. and xv. and xviii. of this Code,
subject to the following explanations and modifications,
namely —

(1) a person shall not be deemed to have caused
harm to another person by omitting to supply
him with the necessaries of health and life,
unless it is proved against him that the other
person, by reason of his age or physical or
mental state, or by reason of control by the
accused person, could not by reasonable
exertion have avoided the harm;

(2) disease or disorder which a person suffers as the
inward effect of his grief, terror or other emotion
shall not be deemed to be harm caused by
another person, although the grief, terror or
emotion has been caused by him, whether with
intent to cause harm or otherwise;

(3) harm which a person suffers by execution of a
sentence of a court in consequence of a prosecu-
tion instituted, or procured, or of evidence given
or procured to be given, by another person,
whether in good faith or not, shall not be
deemed to have been caused by that other
person; and

(4) except as in this section expressly provided, a
person shall not be excused from liability to
punishment for causing harm to another person
or be acquitted of having caused harm to another
person, on the ground that the other person, by
his own trespass, negligence, act or omission,
contributed to causing the harm.

Exceptions from
general
provisions as to
causing an event.

See ss. 12, 14 and
204.

CH.84 – 50] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Illustrations

Subs. (1) —A master commits no punishable breach of duty by not
supplying food to his servant according to the contract of service, if the
servant could have left his house or obtained food; subsection (5) of
section 27, being qualified by subsection (1) of this section.

Subs. (2) —A., knowing that by reason of B.’s state of health, bad
news suddenly communicated will be likely to kill B., suddenly
communicates bad news to B., and B. dies. Here A. cannot be convicted
of murder, even though his intention was to cause B.’s death.

Subs. (3) —A., by false evidence, procures B. to be convicted of
crime and sentenced to flogging. Here A. is not liable to be convicted
of having caused B. to be flogged. But he is liable to be punished under
section 424.

Subs. (4) —A., by reckless driving, causes harm to B., who is
sleeping in his cart in the road. Here A. is not excused by reason of the
fact that B. could have got out of the way if he had not been sleeping.

30. Where any person in good faith, for the purposes
of medical or surgical treatment, intentionally causes harm
to another person, which in the exercise of reasonable skill
and precaution according to the circumstances of the case,
he ought to have known to be plainly improper, he shall be
liable to punishment as if he had caused the harm
negligently within the meaning of this Code, and not
otherwise.

Illustration

A surgeon, through gross negligence, amputates a limb which
there is no necessity to amputate. The surgeon is not liable to be
convicted of having intentionally and unlawfully caused a maim, but
he is liable to be convicted of having negligently and unlawfully
caused grievous harm.

31. If a person intentionally hinders any other
person from escaping from a wrecked vessel, or from
lawfully protecting himself or any other person against
harm in any case, he shall be deemed to have intentionally
caused any harm which happens to such other person by
reason of his being so hindered.

Special provision
as to medical or
surgical
treatment.
See s. 111(5).

Causing harm by
hindering escape
from wreck, etc.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 51





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

32. For the purposes of this Code, expressions
referring to poison or to noxious matter include matter
which is poisonous or noxious only by reason of the
quantity taken or administered, or of the circumstances
under which it is taken or administered, or of the state of
health or the peculiar bodily character of the person by
whom it is taken or to whom it is administered.

Immoral Traffic and Offences against
Females and Children

33. The following provisions apply to every offence
punishable under Title xi. or Title xix. of this Code and any
offence, committed against a child under sixteen years of
age, comprised in Title x. or Title xviii. or Title xx. of this
Code including the offences mentioned in section 110 (5)of
the Child Care Act; and all such offences are in sections 34
to 41 of this Code referred to as “any of the said offences
against females or children”.

34. Any peace officer may take into custody without
warrant any person —

(1) who within view of such peace officer commits
any of the said offences against females or
children where the name and address of such
person are unknown to such peace officer and
cannot be ascertained by such peace officer;

(2) who has committed or who he has reason to
believe has committed any of the said offences
against females or children, if he has reasonable
ground for believing that such person will
abscond, or if the name and address of such
person are unknown to and cannot be
ascertained by the peace officer.

35. (1) Where a magistrate is satisfied by the
evidence of a registered medical practitioner that the
attendance of any child in respect of whom any of the said
offences against females or children is alleged to have been
committed, on the preliminary hearing or investigation of
any complaint for any of such offences, would involve
serious danger to the life or health of such child, the
magistrate may take in writing the deposition of such child
on oath and shall thereupon subscribe the same and add


Explanations of
provisions
referring to
poison or to
noxious matter.

Definition of
“offences against
females or
children”.
1 of 2007, Sixth.
Sch.

Ch. 132.

Power to take
offenders into
custody.

See s. 104.

Extension of
power to take
deposition of a
child.

CH.84 – 52] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

thereto a statement of his reason for taking the same, and
of the day when and place where the same was taken, and
of the names of the persons (if any) present at the taking
thereof.

(2) The magistrate taking any such deposition shall
transmit the same with his statement to the Attorney-
General.

36. Where on the trial of any person on information
in the Supreme Court for any of the said offences against
females or children the court is satisfied by the evidence of
a registered medical practitioner that the attendance before
the court of any child in respect of whom the offence is
alleged to have been committed, would involve serious
danger to its life or health, any deposition of the child
taken under any Act regulating the taking of depositions on
preliminary hearing of charges shall be admissible in
evidence either for or against the accused without further
proof thereof, if —

(1) it purports to be signed by the magistrate by or
before whom it purports to be taken;

(2) it is proved that reasonable notice of the
intention to take the deposition has been served
upon the person against whom it is proposed to
use the same as evidence, and that that person or
his counsel or attorney-at-law had or might have
had, if he had chosen to be present, an
opportunity of cross-examining the child making
the deposition.

37. Where on the hearing or trial of any charge for
any of the said offences against females or children the
child in respect of whom the offence is charged to have
been committed or any other child of tender years who is
tendered as a witness does not, in the opinion of the
magistrate or of the court, understand the nature of an oath,
the evidence of such child may be received, though not
given upon oath if, in the opinion of the magistrate or the
court, as the case may be, such child is possessed of
sufficient intelligence to justify the reception of the
evidence and understands the duty of speaking the truth;
and the evidence of such child though not given on oath
but otherwise taken and reduced into writing in accor-
dance with the provisions of the Magistrates Act or any
Act passed in amendment thereof or substitution therefor
shall be deemed to be a deposition:

Admission of
deposition of
child in evidence.

Evidence of child
of tender years.

Ch. 54.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Provided that a person shall not be liable to be
convicted of the offence unless the testimony admitted by
virtue of this section and given on behalf of the prosecution
is corroborated by some other material evidence in support
thereof implicating the accused:

Provided also that any child whose evidence is
received as aforesaid and who shall wilfully give false
evidence shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished for
perjury in all respects as if he or she had been sworn.

38. Where in any proceedings with relation to any of
the said offences against females or children the magistrate
or the court is satisfied that the attendance at the
preliminary hearing or investigation or trial of any child in
respect of whom the offence is alleged to have been
committed, is not essential to the just hearing or trial of the
case, the case may be proceeded with and determined in
the absence of the child.

39. Where a person is charged with any of the said
offences against females or children in respect of a child
who is alleged in the complaint to be under any specified
age and the child appears to the magistrate or the court to
be under that age, such child shall for the purposes of this
Code be deemed to be under that age, unless the contrary is
proved.

40. (1) Where a person is charged with committing
any of the said offences against females or children in
respect of two or more children, the same complaint may
charge the offence in respect of all or any of them, but the
person charged shall not be liable to a separate penalty or
punishment for each child unless upon separate complaints.

(2) The same complaint may also charge any person
as having the custody, charge or care, alternatively or
together, and may charge him with the offence of assault,
ill-treatment, neglect, abandonment or exposure, together
or separately, and may charge him with committing all or
any of these offences in a manner likely to cause
unnecessary suffering or injury to health, alternatively or
together; but when those offences are charged together the
person charged shall not be liable to a separate penalty or
punishment for each.

Power to proceed
with case in
absence of child.

Presumption of
age of child.

Mode of
charging
offences, and
limitation of
time.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) A person shall not be summarily convicted of
any of the said offences against females or children unless
the offence was wholly or partly committed within six
months before the charge or information was laid, but,
subject as aforesaid, evidence may be taken of acts
constituting, or contributing to constitute, the offence and
committed at any previous time.

(4) When any of the said offences against females
or children charged against any person is a continuous
offence, it shall not be necessary to specify in the
complaint the date of the acts constituting the offence.

41. (1) If it appears to any magistrate, on complaint
laid before him upon oath by any parent, guardian, or
relative of any female or by any other person who, in the
opinion of the magistrate, is bona fide acting in her
interests, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that she
is unlawfully detained for immoral purposes by any person
in any place within the jurisdiction of such magistrate, he
may issue a warrant authorising any person named therein
to search for her, and when found, to take her to and detain
her in a place of safety until she can be brought before him
or some other magistrate; and the magistrate before whom
she is brought may cause her to be delivered up to her
parents or guardian or to be otherwise dealt with as
circumstances may permit and require.

(2) The magistrate issuing the warrant may, by the
same or any other warrant, cause any person accused of so
unlawfully detaining the female to be arrested and brought
before him or some other magistrate, and proceedings to be
taken for punishing the person according to law.

(3) A female shall be deemed to be unlawfully
detained for immoral purposes if she is so detained for the
purpose of being unlawfully and carnally known by any
person, whether any particular person or generally, and
either —

(a) is under sixteen years of age;
(b) if of or above sixteen years of age and under

eighteen years of age, is so detained against her
will or against the will of her father or mother,
or of any other person having the lawful care or
charge of her;

Power of search
for female
detained for
immoral
purposes.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 55





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) if of or above eighteen years of age, is so
detained against her will.

(4) Any person who is authorised by warrant under
this section to search for any female so detained may enter
(if need be by force) any house, building or other place
mentioned in the warrant and may remove her therefrom.

(5) Every warrant issued under this section shall be
addressed to and executed by the Commissioner of Police
or some non-commissioned officer of police, who shall be
accompanied by the parent, relative or guardian or other
person laying the complaint, if that person so desires,
unless the magistrate otherwise directs.

42. If it is made to appear to a magistrate by
information on oath that there is reason to suspect that any
house or part of a house is used for the purposes of
prostitution, and that any person residing in or frequenting
the house is living wholly or in part on the earnings of the
prostitute, the magistrate may issue a warrant authorising
any peace officer to enter and search the house and to
arrest that person.

43. Where a person is proved to live with or to be
habitually in the company of a prostitute, or is proved to
have exercised control, direction or influence over the
movements of a prostitute in such a manner as to show
that such person is aiding, abetting or compelling her
prostitution with any other person or generally, such person
shall, unless such person can satisfy the court to the
contrary, be deemed to be knowingly living on the earnings
of prostitution.

44. When any person is charged under this Code
with trading in prostitution or with publicly soliciting or
importuning for immoral purposes, the wife or husband of
a person so charged may be called as a witness either for
the prosecution or defence and without the consent of the
person so charged.

45. (1) Upon the conviction of the tenant, lessee or
occupier of any premises of knowingly permitting the
premises, or any part thereof, to be used as a brothel, the
landlord or lessor shall be entitled to require the person so
convicted to assign the lease or other contract under which
the said premises are held by him to some person approved


Power of search
in a house used
for immoral
traffic.

Presumption as
to person living
with a prostitute.
See s. 138.

Special provision
as to evidence of
husband or wife
in prostitution
cases.
See s. 138.

Determination of
tenancy of
premises on
conviction for
permitting use as
brothel, etc.

CH.84 – 56] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

by the landlord or lessor, which approval shall not be
unreasonably withheld, and, in the event of the person so
convicted failing within three months to assign the lease or
contract as aforesaid, the landlord or lessor shall be entitled
to determine the lease or other contract but without
prejudice to the rights or remedies of any party to such
lease or contract accrued before the date of such
determination. If the landlord or lessor should so determine
the lease or other contract of tenancy, the court or
magistrate which or who has convicted the tenant, lessee or
occupier shall have power to make a summary order for
delivery of possession to the landlord or lessor.

(2) If the landlord or lessor after such conviction has
been brought to his notice fails to exercise his rights under
the foregoing provisions of this section and subsequently
during the subsistence of the lease or contract any such
offence is again committed in respect of the premises, the
landlord or lessor shall be deemed to have knowingly aided
or abetted the commission of that offence, unless he proves
that he had taken all reasonable steps to prevent the
recurrence of the offence.

(3) Where a landlord or lessor determines a lease or
other contract under the powers conferred by this section
and subsequently grants another lease or enters into
another contract of tenancy to, with, or for the benefit of
the same person without causing to be inserted in such
lease or contract all reasonable provisions for the
prevention of a recurrence of any such offence as
aforesaid, he shall be deemed to have failed to exercise his
rights under the foregoing provisions of this section, and
any such offence as aforesaid committed during the
subsistence of the subsequent lease or contract shall be
deemed, for the purposes of this section, to have been
committed during the subsistence of the previous lease or
contract.

Stealing, etc.
46. A person is guilty of stealing if he dishonestly

appropriates a thing of which he is not the owner.
47. A thing is stolen from the person if it be stolen

from the body, clothes or immediate presence of a person.

Definition of
stealing.

Stealing from the
person.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

48. A person is guilty of fraudulent breach of trust if
he dishonestly appropriates a thing the ownership of which
is vested in him as a trustee for any other person.

49. (1) An appropriation of a thing is dishonest if it
is made by a person without claim of right, and with a
knowledge or belief that the appropriation is without the
consent of some person for whom he is trustee or who is
owner of the thing, as the case may be, or that the
appropriation would, if known to any such person, be
without his consent.

(2) It is not necessary, in order to constitute a
dishonest appropriation of a thing, that the accused person
should know who is the owner of the thing, but it suffices
if he has reason to know or believe that some other person,
whether certain or uncertain, is interested therein or
entitled thereto, whether as owner in his own right, or by
operation of law, or in any other manner; and any person
so interested in or entitled to a thing is an owner thereof for
all the purposes of the provisions of this Code relating to
criminal misappropriations and frauds.

(3) The general provisions of this Title to this Code
with respect to consent, and with respect to the avoidance
thereof by force, duress, incapacity and otherwise, apply
for the purposes of this section, except as is hereafter in
this Title expressly mentioned with respect to deceit.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A., being the guest of B., writes a letter on B.’s
paper. Here A. is not guilty of stealing, because, although he does not
use the paper under any claim of right, yet he believes that B., as a
reasonable person, would not object to his so doing.

(b) A., during a lawsuit with B. as to the right to certain goods,
uses or sells some of the goods. Here A. is not guilty of stealing,
because although A. believes that B would object, yet A acts under a
claim of right.

Subs. (2) —A person can be guilty of stealing by appropriating
things the ownership of which is in dispute or unknown, or which have
been found by another person.



Definition of
fraudulent breach
of trust.

Explanation as to
dishonest
appropriation.

CH.84 – 58] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

50. A person who is an owner of or interested in a
thing, or in the amount, value or proceeds thereof, jointly
or in common with another person or as a member of a
company, or who is owner of a thing as a trustee for
himself jointly or in common with another person or for a
company of which he is a member, can be guilty of
stealing or of fraudulent breach of trust in respect of the
thing; and a person can be a clerk, servant or officer of a
company of which he is a member.

Illustrations

(1) A member of a partnership, or of any association or
corporation, can be guilty of stealing a thing belonging to himself and
the other members of the partnership, association or corporation.

(2) A servant or officer of a partnership, association or corporation
can be guilty of stealing its property, although he is a member of it.

51. Where a person, being the owner of a thing in
his own right and for his own benefit, undertakes to hold or
apply the thing as a trustee for another person, he shall not
be deemed thereby to become a trustee, within the meaning
of the provisions of this Code relating to fraudulent
breaches of trust, unless he has constituted himself such
trustee by an instrument in writing executed by him and
specifying the nature of the trust and the persons to be
benefited thereby.

Illustration

A., on the marriage of his daughter, verbally promises thenceforth
to hold certain moneys of his own in trust for her and her children. A. is
not a trustee within the meaning of the aforesaid provisions. But if the
moneys were entrusted to him by the husband for the wife. A. would be
a trustee within the meaning of the aforesaid provisions.

52. (1) An appropriation of a thing by a trustee
means any dealing with the thing by the trustee, with a
purpose of depriving any person for whom he is trustee of
the benefit of his right or interest in the thing, or in its
value or proceeds, or any part thereof.

Provisions
relating to part
owners.

Explanation as to
a gratuitous
trustee.

Acts which
amount to an
appropriation.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) An appropriation of a thing in any other case
means any moving, taking, obtaining, carrying away or
dealing with a thing, with a purpose that some person may
be deprived of the benefit of his ownership, or of the
benefit of his right or interest in the thing or in its value or
proceeds, or any part thereof.

(3) A purpose of deprival can be constituted by a
purpose of appropriating the thing temporarily or for a
particular use, if the purpose is so to use or deal with the
thing that it probably will be destroyed, or become useless
or greatly injured or depreciated, or to restore it to the
owner only by way of sale or exchange, or for reward, or in
substitution for some other thing to which he is otherwise
entitled, or if it is pledged or pawned.

(4) It is immaterial whether the act by which a thing
is taken, obtained or dealt with be or be not a trespass or a
conversion, or be or be not in any manner unlawful
otherwise than by reason of its being done with a purpose
of dishonest appropriation; and it is immaterial whether,
before or at the time of doing such act, the accused person
had or had not any possession, custody or control of the
thing.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —A. is a trustee of stock for B. If A. orders the stock to
be sold with a purpose of appropriating part of the proceeds, A. has
appropriated the stock.

Subs. (2) —A., intending to steal a horse, disguises it by cutting its
mane and tail. This is a sufficient appropriation.

Subs. (3) —(a) A. is a workman paid according to the quantity of
metal which he obtains from ore. If A. fraudulently puts into the
furnace some metal belonging to his employer instead of ore, with the
purpose of increasing A.’s wages, A. may be guilty of stealing the
metal, although he does not mean to deprive his employer of it
permanently.

(b) A. borrows a horse without the consent of its owner, intending
to keep it until it is worn out and then to return it. Here A. is guilty of
stealing the horse.

Subs. (4) A person can be guilty of stealing a thing entrusted to
him to carry or keep, and it is not necessary in order to constitute a
stealing by such a person that any package in which the thing is
contained shall be broken open by him.

CH.84 – 60] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

53. (1) If it is proved, on behalf of a person accused
of having stolen a thing, that the owner thereof, or any
person having authority to part with the ownership
thereof, gave consent to the appropriation of it by the

accused person, then, although such consent has been
obtained by deceit, the accused person shall not be deemed
guilty of having stolen the thing, but he may be convicted
of the offence of having defrauded by false pretences, if his
acts amounted to such offence.

(2) The consent to be proved by the accused person,
for the purposes of this section, is an unconditional consent
to the immediate and final appropriation of the thing by the
accused person, by way of gift or barter, or of sale on
credit, to the accused person.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A., intending fraudulently to appropriate a horse
belonging to B., obtains it from B. under the pretence that he wants it
for a day. Here A. is guilty of stealing.

(b) A., intending to defraud B. of a horse without paying for it
induces B. to sell and deliver it to him without present payment, by a
false pretence that he has $4,000 at his bank. Here A. is guilty of
obtaining by false pretences, but is not guilty of stealing.

54. If it is proved, on behalf of a person accused of
having stolen or committed a fraudulent breach of trust in
respect of moneys or other things, that it was lawful for
him to appropriate the particular moneys or other things, or
any of them, and that he was only bound to account for the
amount or value thereof, he shall not be deemed guilty in
respect of the moneys or things which he has appropriated,
unless proof is given against him that he has admitted that
the appropriation of them was dishonest, or proof is given
that he has concealed or absconded with them or with the
proceeds of them, or that he has concealed or denied, or
attempted to conceal, or refused or omitted to disclose
according to his duty, the fact of the receipt or disposal of
them, or it is made to appear that he knew that the effect of
the disposal of them would be to disable him from
accounting for the amount, value or proceeds of them
according to his duty.

Distinction
between stealing
and false
pretences.

Special provision
as to money, etc.,
in cases of
embezzlement.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



Illustration

A., a commercial traveller, is directed to collect moneys for his
employer. If he is at liberty to spend or dispose of the particular
moneys which he collects, and is only bound to account for the balance
in his hands at particular times or when called upon, he does not
commit stealing or fraudulent breach of trust merely by spending any
or all of the moneys collected by him, unless under the circumstances
mentioned in this section.

55. (1) If it is proved, on behalf of a person accused
of having stolen a thing, that the wife of the owner of the
thing consented to its appropriation by the accused person,
the accused person shall not be convicted unless it is
proved against him that he had notice that the wife had no
authority to consent to the appropriation.

(2) If it appears that he had committed, or designed
to commit, adultery with the wife, he shall be deemed to
have had such notice, but he shall not in such case be
deemed guilty of stealing by reason only of his
appropriating, with the consent of the wife, or of his
assisting the wife to appropriate, any wearing apparel of
the wife, or any money or other thing of which the wife is
apparently permitted to have the disposal for her own use.

56. A person who appropriates a thing which
appears to have been lost by another person is not guilty of
stealing it, unless —

(1) at the time of appropriating it, he knows who is
the owner of the thing or by whom it has been
lost;

(2) the character or situation of the thing, or the
marks upon it, or any other circumstances is or
are such as to indicate the owner of the thing or
the person by whom it has been lost;

(3) the character or situation of the thing, or the
marks upon it, or any other circumstances is or
are such as that the person who has lost the thing
appears likely to be able to recover it by
reasonable search and inquiry, if it were not
removed or concealed by any other person.

Consent by a
wife in case of
stealing.

Explanation as to
stealing of thing
found.

CH.84 – 62] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Illustrations

(1) —A. finds a ring in the high road. If the ring has an owner’s or
maker’s name or motto engraved upon it, or if it is of great value, A.
will be guilty of stealing it if he appropriates it without making
reasonable inquiry.

(2) —A. buys an old chest at the sale of a deceased person’s
effects. He finds a banknote in a secret drawer of the chest. A. is guilty
of stealing it if he appropriates the note, unless he either expressly
bought the right to whatever he might find in the chest, or makes
reasonable inquiry and fails to discover the owner.

57. Any of the crimes of stealing, fraudulent breach
of trust, robbery, extortion or defrauding by false pretences
can be committed in respect of anything, whether living or
dead, and whether fixed to the soil or to any building or
fixture, or not so fixed, and whether the thing be a mineral,
or a fluid, or gas, or of any other nature, and whether the
value thereof be intrinsic or for purposes of evidence, or be
of value only for a particular purpose or to a particular
person, and whether the value thereof does or does not
amount to the value of the lowest denomination of coin;
and any document shall be deemed to be of some value,
whether it be complete or incomplete, and whether or not it
be satisfied, exhausted or cancelled.

False Pretences and Other Frauds
58. A person is guilty of defrauding by false

pretences if, by means of any false pretence, he obtains the
consent of another person to part with or transfer the
ownership of anything of which the crime of stealing can
be committed.

59. (1) A false pretence is a representation of the
existence of a state of facts made by a person, either with
the knowledge that such representation is false or without
the belief that it is true, and made with a purpose to
defraud.

(2) For the purposes of this section —
(a) a representation may be made either by written

or spoken words, or by personation, or by any
other conduct, sign or means, of whatsoever
kind;

(b) the expression “a representation of the existence
of a state of facts” includes a representation as to
the non-existence of any thing or condition of


Things in respect
of which stealing,
etc., can be
committed.

Definition of
defrauding by
false pretences.

Definition of and
provisions
relating to a false
pretence.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 63





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

things, and a representation of any right,
liability, authority, ability, dignity or ground or
credit or confidence as resulting from any
alleged past facts or state of facts, but does not
include a mere representation of any intention or
state of mind in the person making the
representation, nor any mere representation or
promise that anything will happen or be done, or
is likely to happen or be done;

(c) a consent shall not be deemed to have been
obtained by a false representation as to the
quality or value of a thing, unless, in the opinion
of the court, the thing is proved to have been
substantially worthless for the purpose for which
it is represented to be fit, or to have been
substantially a different thing from that which it
is represented to be; and

(d) subject to the foregoing rules, if the consent of a
person is in fact obtained by a false pretence, it
is immaterial that the pretence is such as would
have had no effect on the mind of a person using
ordinary care and judgment.

Illustrations

Subs. (2) —(a) A. goes into a shop dressed as an officer in the
army (which he is not). If he does this in order to gain credit which he
would not otherwise get, he is guilty of a false pretence, although he
does not actually say that he is an officer.

(b) (I) The following pretences (being false) are sufficient “false
pretences” by A. within the meaning of this Title —
(i) That a picture which he is selling once belonged to a particular
collector.
(ii) That a picture which he is selling was painted by a particular
painter.
(iii) That a picture which he is selling belongs to him.
(iv) That he is entitled to a legacy under the will of a deceased relative.
(v) That he has an account at a particular bank.
(II) The following are not sufficient although false —
(i) That the picture is a valuable work of art.
(ii) That in five years the picture will have doubled in value.

(iii) That he expects to receive a legacy when a relative dies.



CH.84 – 64] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Every person who shall, by any fraud or
unlawful device or ill practice in playing at or with cards,
dice, tables, or other game, or in bearing a part in the
stakes, wagers, or adventures, or in betting on the sides or
hands of them that do play, or in wagering on the event of
any game, sport, pastime, or exercise, win from any other
person to himself, or any other or others, any sum of
money or valuable thing, shall be deemed guilty of
obtaining such money or valuable thing from such other
person by a false pretence, with intent to cheat or defraud
such person of the same, and, being convicted thereof,
shall be punished accordingly.

60. Personation means a false pretence or representa-
tion by a person that he is a different person, whether that
different person be living or dead or be a fictitious person,
and a person may be guilty of personation although he gives
or uses his own name, if he does so with intent that he may
be believed to be a different person of the same or of a
similar name.

61. Where a person orders, or makes a bargain for
the purchase of, any goods or things by way of sale or
exchange, and after obtaining the same, he makes default
in payment of the purchase money or in rendering the
goods or things to be rendered by him by way of such
exchange, he shall be deemed to be guilty of defrauding or
attempting to defraud, as the case may be, by false
pretences, if the jury are satisfied —

(1) that at the time of giving the order or making the
bargain, he purposed to make default as afore-
said;

(2) that the order was given, or the bargain was
made, for the purposes of fraud, and not in the
course of any trade carried on in good faith:

Provided that no person shall be convicted under this
section unless one or more of the following things is or are
proved against him, namely —

(a) that, in giving the order or making the bargain,
he used a false name or address or a false
reference, or gave as the address of his place of
business an address at which he did not carry on
business in good faith for the purposes of trade;

8 of 1969, s. 15.

Explanation as to
personation.

Provisions
relating to
fictitious trading.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 65





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) that he has sold, pledged or pawned the goods or
things so obtained by him, or some of them,
under such circumstances that it appears that he
obtained the goods or things only for the
purpose of so dealing with them.

Receiving and Unlawful Possession
62. (1) A person is guilty of dishonestly receiving

any property which he knows to have been obtained or
appropriated by any crime or offence, if he receives, buys,
or in any manner assists in the disposal of the property
otherwise than with a purpose to restore it to the owner.

(2) It is immaterial whether the crime or offence by
which the property was obtained or appropriated was or
was not committed within the jurisdiction of the court; and
if the property was obtained or appropriated beyond the
jurisdiction of the court by an act the doing of which within
the jurisdiction would be a crime or offence punishable
under this Code, such act is for the purposes of this section,
equivalent to an offence punishable under this Code.

(3) Any number of receivers at different times, of
property stolen at one time may be tried together,
notwithstanding that the principal offender shall not have
been charged or shall not be in custody or not be amenable
to justice; and if such receivers shall be charged with
jointly receiving property, they shall not escape
punishment if it is proved that they had received the same
or part thereof separately.

63. (1) It shall be lawful for any peace officer to
stop and detain without a warrant any person having in his
possession or conveying in any manner anything which
may be reasonably suspected of being stolen or unlawfully
obtained, in order to ascertain who the person is and the
nature of such thing in his or her possession; and in case
such person shall not give a satisfactory account of himself
or herself and of his or her possession of such thing it shall
be the duty of the peace officer to take such person, and the
thing and any cart, wagon or other vehicle (if any) laden
with the same, to the nearest police station, where he or she
and the thing shall be detained or released as in the


See ss. 358 and
359.

Explanation as to
dishonest
receiving.

Several receivers
may be tried
together.

Peace officer to
detain person
conveying thing
suspected of
being stolen, etc.

See s. 104.

CH.84 – 66] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

discretion of the officer in charge may appear proper, until
the question of ownership of such thing shall be submitted
to be decided by the magistrate; and it shall be lawful for
the keeper of any prison to receive into his custody any
person detained as aforesaid on Saturday night and him or
her keep there until taken before the magistrate for
examination.

(2) Any person to whom anything is offered to be
sold, pawned or delivered, if he has reasonable cause to
suspect that any offence has been committed against this
Code with respect to such thing, shall, if in his power,
apprehend and forthwith take before a magistrate the
person offering the same, together with such thing, to be
dealt with according to law.

(3) Any person found in the act of stealing, or found
committing the offence of dishonestly receiving anything,
may be immediately apprehended without a warrant by any
person and forthwith taken, together with the stolen thing,
if any, to a magistrate to be dealt with according to law.

(4) If any credible witness shall prove upon oath
before a justice of the peace a reasonable cause to suspect
that any person has in his possession or on his premises
any stolen property whatsoever, the justice may grant a
warrant of search for such property.

64. (1) Where any person is brought before a
magistrate charged with having possession of or
conveying in any manner anything which has been
stolen or unlawfully obtained or which is reasonably
suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained,
and declares that he received the same from some other
person, or that he was employed as a carrier, agent, or
servant, or to convey the same to some other person,
the magistrate shall, if practicable, cause every such
other person, and also, if necessary, every former or
pretended purchaser, or other person through whose
possession such thing as aforesaid has passed, to be
brought before the court to be examined upon oath
touching the same and if it appears to the court before
which the matter is tried that any person or persons so
brought before it had possession of such thing, every
such person may be deemed to have had possession of
such thing at the time and place when and where the
same was found or seized, and the onus probandi


General power to
arrest without
warrant.

Warrant of
search.

Inquiry by
magistrate
concerning
things suspected
of being stolen,
or unlawfully
obtained.

Onus probandi.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 67





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

shall be on him or them to show that such possession was
honestly come by. Upon the refusal or inability of any such
person or persons to satisfy the court that such possession
is or was lawful, it shall be deemed prima facie evidence of
his or their guilt of the offence charged in relation to such
possession.

(2) The possession of a carrier, agent or servant
shall be deemed to be the possession of the person who
employed such carrier, agent or servant to convey such
thing.

65. (1) Where any person is acquitted or convicted
(hereinafter in this section referred to as the accused
person) of any offence of stealing, taking, obtaining,
extorting, embezzling, converting or disposing of, or of
knowingly receiving any property the court before which
the accused person is may exercise any of the following
powers —

(a) the court may order anyone having possession or
control of the property to restore them to any
person entitled to recover them from him; or

(b) on the application of a person entitled to recover
from the accused person any other property
directly or indirectly representing the first-men-
tioned property (as being the proceeds of any
disposal or realisation of the whole or part of
them or of property so representing them) the
court may order the other property to be
delivered or transferred to the applicant; or

(c) on the application of a person who, if the first
mentioned property were in the possession of
the accused person would be entitled to recover
them from him, the court may order that a sum
not exceeding the value of the property shall be
paid to the applicant.

(2) Where under subsection (1) the court has power
to make an order against the accused person both under
paragraph (b) and under paragraph (c) with reference to the
same property, the court may make orders under both
paragraphs provided that the applicant for the orders does
not thereby recover more than the value of the property.

See s. 148.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Restitution of
stolen property in
case of
conviction.

CH.84 – 68] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Where under subsection (1) the court makes an
order under paragraph (a) for the restoration of any
property and it appears to the court that the accused person
has sold the property to a person acting in good faith, or
has borrowed money on the security of them from a person
so acting, then, on the application of the purchaser or
lender, the court may order that there shall be paid to the
applicant, out of any money of the accused person which
was taken out of his possession on his apprehension, a sum
not exceeding the amount paid for the purchase by the
applicant or, as the case may be, the money owed to the
applicant in respect of the loan.

(4) Any order under this section shall be treated as
an order for the restitution of property within the meaning
of section 21 of the Court of Appeal Act (which relates to
the effect of such orders on appeal).

(5) Where any property belonging to any ship or
vessel in distress or wrecked, stranded or cast on shore, is
found in the unlawful possession of any person or on the
premises of any person with his knowledge, any such
person if instrumental by himself or his servants in saving
any part of the cargo from the ship or vessel shall forfeit all
right to any salvage or remuneration he might otherwise
have been entitled to for services rendered or for property
or money saved.

66. Whosoever shall publicly advertise a reward for
the return of any property whatsoever which shall have
been stolen or lost, and shall in such advertisement use any
words purporting that no question will be asked, or shall
make use of any words in any public advertisement
purporting that a reward will be given or paid for any
property which shall have been stolen or lost, without
seizing or making any inquiry after the person producing
such property, or shall promise or offer, in any such public
advertisement, to return to any pawnbroker or other person,
who may have bought or advanced money by way of loan
upon any property stolen or lost, the money so paid or
advanced or any other sum of money or reward for the
return of such property, or shall print or publish any such
advertisement, shall forfeit the sum of five hundred dollars
for every such offence, to any person who will sue for the
same by action of debt, to be recovered with full costs of
suit.

Salvaged goods.

Advertising a
reward for the
return of stolen
property, etc.

See s. 261.

5 of 1987, Sch.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Unlawful Damage to Property
67. “Damage” includes not only damage to the

matter of a thing, but also any interruption of the use
thereof, or any interference therewith, by which the thing
becomes permanently or temporarily useless, or by which
expense is rendered necessary in order to render the thing
fit for the purposes for which it was used or maintained.

68. (1) A person does an act or causes an event
unlawfully, within the meaning of the provisions of this
Code relating to unlawful damage, in any case in which he
is liable to any civil action or proceeding, or to fine or
other punishment under any law, in respect of his doing the
act or causing the event or in respect of the consequences
of the act or event, or in which he would be so liable if he
caused the event directly by his own act, or in which he is
liable to be restrained by injunction or any other
proceeding from doing the act or causing the event.

(2) It is immaterial whether a person accused of an
offence in respect of any premises or thing be or be not in
possession or occupation thereof.

(3) A person who is interested jointly or in common
with other persons in any premises or thing as an owner or
otherwise, or who is owner thereof in trust for any other
person, can be guilty of any offence punishable under the
aforesaid provisions by an act which is unlawful as
hereinbefore mentioned.

(4) A person who is sole owner for his own benefit
of any premises or thing can be guilty of any offence
punishable under the aforesaid provisions by an act done
with intent to injure or defraud any person or to cause harm
to any person, although the act be not otherwise unlawful:

Provided that notwithstanding anything contained in
Title vi. of this Code as to mistake of law, a person shall
not be liable to punishment under the aforesaid provisions
in respect of his doing anything which, in good faith, he
believes that he is entitled to do.

Illustrations

Subs. (2) —A tenant of a house can be guilty of an offence against
the aforesaid provisions by setting fire to the house.

Definition of
damage.

Explanation of
unlawful
damage.

CH.84 – 70] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Subs. (3) —A person who is joint owner or owner in common with
other persons of a house or other property can be guilty of an offence
against the aforesaid provisions in respect of the injury caused by his
offence to the other joint owners or co-owners.

Subs. (4) —A person who intentionally sets fire to his own
dwelling-house or ship may be guilty of arson, as, for instance, if the
fire is likely to spread to other houses, or if the lives or property of any
other persons are or is likely to be destroyed.

69. (1) Where an intention to cause damage to a
certain amount, or a causing of damage to a certain
amount, is required by an enactment of this Code relating
to unlawful damage, it is not necessary that damage to that
amount should be intended or done to any individual thing
of a kind mentioned in such section, but it suffices if
damage to that amount in the aggregate is intended or
done, as the case may be, to any number or collection of
such things.

(2) Where different punishments are provided by
any enactments of this Code relating to unlawful damage,
according to differences in the amount of damage caused, a
person who is accused of having attempted to cause
damage to a greater amount shall not be acquitted or
relieved from liability to the greater punishment on the
ground that he actually caused damage to a lesser amount.

Forgery and False Coin
70. The following provisions apply with respect to

forgery, namely —
(1) a person forges a document if he makes or alters

the document, or any material part thereof, with
intent to cause it to be believed either —
(a) that the document or part has been so made

or altered by any person who did not in fact
so make or alter it; or

(b) that the document or part has been so made
or altered with the authority or consent of
any person who did not in fact give such
authority or consent; or

(c) that the document or part has been so made
or altered at a time different from that at
which it was in fact so made or altered;

Explanation as to
amount of
damage.

Explanations and
special provision
as to forgery.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 71





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) a person who issues or uses any document which is
exhausted or cancelled, with intent that it may pass
or have effect as if it were not exhausted or can-
celled, shall be deemed guilty of forging the same;

(3) the making or alteration of a document or part
thereof by a person in his own name may be
forgery if the making or alteration is with either
of the intents mentioned in this section;

(4) the making or alteration of a document or part
thereof by a person in the name which is not his
real or ordinary name is not forgery unless the
making or alteration is with one or other of the
intents mentioned in this section;

(5) it is immaterial whether the person by whom, or
with whose authority or consent, a document or
part thereof purports to have been made, or is
intended to be believed to have been made, be
living or dead, or be a fictitious person;

(6) every word, letter, figure, mark, seal, or thing
expressed on or in a document, or forming part
thereof or attached thereto, and any colouring,
shape or device used therein, which purports to
indicate the person by whom, or with whose
authority, or consent, a document or part thereof
has been made, altered, executed, delivered,
attested, verified, certified or issued, or which
may affect the purport, operation or the validity
of the document in any material particular, is a
material part of the document;

(7) “alteration” includes any cancelling, erasure,
severance, interlineation or transposition of or in
a document or of or in any material part thereof,
and the addition of any material part thereto, and
any other act or device whereby the purport,
operation or validity of the document may be
affected; and

(8) all the provisions of this section apply with
respect to the forgery of a stamp in the same
manner as with respect to the forgery of a
document.

Illustrations
Subs. (3) —A. endorses his own name on a cheque, meaning it to

pass as an endorsement by another person of the same name. Here A. is
guilty of forgery.

CH.84 – 72] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Subs. (4) —A. is living under an assumed name. It is not forgery
for him to execute a document in that name, unless he does so with
intent to defraud, etc.

Subs. (5) —A., with intent to defraud, makes a promissory note in
the name of an imaginary person. Here A. is guilty of forgery.

71. A person “counterfeits” a stamp, coin or mark if
he makes any imitation thereof, or anything which is
intended to pass or which may pass as such stamp, coin or
mark; and if a person makes anything which is intended to
serve as a specimen, or pattern, or trial of any process for
counterfeiting a stamp, coin or mark, he shall be deemed to
be guilty of counterfeiting, within the meaning of this
Code, although he does not purpose that any person should
be defrauded or injured by, or that any further use should
be made of, such specimen or pattern.

72. A person “falsifies” a coin of any metal,
coinage, denomination, date or country, if he removes any
such part thereof, or if by any means he so alters it,
whether permanently or temporarily, and whether in
substance or appearance, as that it may pass for a coin of a
different metal, coinage, denomination, date or country.

73. (1) A person possesses or does any act with
respect to a document knowing it not to be genuine, if he
possesses it, or does the act with respect to it, knowing that
it was not in fact made or altered at the time, or by the
person, or with the authority or consent of the person, at
which or by whom, or with whose authority or consent, it
purports or is pretended by him to have been made or
altered; and it is immaterial whether the act of the person
who made or altered it was or was not a crime.

(2) In like manner, a person possesses or does any
act with respect to a stamp or coin knowing it not to be
genuine, if he possesses it, or does the act with respect to it,
knowing it is in fact counterfeit or falsified; and it is
immaterial whether the act of the person who counterfeited
or falsified it was or was not a crime.

74. For the purposes of the provisions of this Code
relating to the forgery, counterfeiting, falsifying, uttering,
dealing with, using or possessing of any document, stamp
or coin, it is not necessary that the document, stamp or coin
should be so complete, or should be intended to be


Definition of
counterfeiting.

Definition of
falsification.

Explanation as to
possessing, or
doing any act
with respect to
document, stamp
or coin.

Imitation of
forged document,
etc., need not be
perfect.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 73





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

made so complete, or should be capable of being made so
complete, as to be valid or effectual for any of the purposes
of a thing of the kind which it purports or is intended to be
or to represent, or as to deceive a person of ordinary
judgment and observation.

75. For the purpose of the provisions of this Code
relating to the possessing or doing any act with respect to a
document, currency note, stamp or coin which is forged,
counterfeited or falsified, or which is not genuine, it is
immaterial whether the document, currency note, stamp, or
coin, has been forged, counterfeited, falsified, made or
altered beyond or within the jurisdiction of the courts.

76. Whenever any document, stamp or coin which is
forged, counterfeited or falsified has been tendered or
admitted in evidence, the court or the person to whom the
same has been tendered in evidence may direct that the
same shall be impounded and be kept in the custody of
some officer of the court or other proper person for such
period and subject to such conditions as to the said court or
person shall seem fit.

77. Whoever prepares or supplies, or has in his
possession, custody or control, or in the possession,
custody or control of any other person on his behalf, any
instruments, materials or means, with the purpose that such
instruments, materials or means may be used by him or by
any other person in committing any forgery or any offence
relating to coin, shall be liable to punishment in like
manner as if he had attempted to commit that offence; and
any such instruments, materials or means shall be forfeited
and applied as the court directs.

Tumults and Riotous Assemblies
78. (1) If three or more persons together in any

public or private place commence or attempt to do any of
the following things, namely —

(a) to execute any common purpose with violence
and without lawful authority to use such
violence for that purpose;

(b) to execute a common purpose of obstructing or
resisting the execution of any legal process or
authority;

16 of 1936, s. 3.

Special provision
as to jurisdiction.

Impounding of
forged document,
etc.

Preparation for
committing
offence.
See ss. 83(2) and
374.

Riot.

See Title xxvii.

CH.84 – 74] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(c) to facilitate, by force or by show of force or of
numbers, the commission of any crime,

they are guilty of a riot.
(2) Persons are not guilty of a riot by reason only

that they, to the number of three or more, suddenly engage
in an unlawful fight unless three or more of them fight with
a common purpose against some other person or persons.

79. (1) An unlawful assembly is an assembly of
three or more persons who, with intent to carry out any
common purpose, assemble in such a manner, or so
conduct themselves when assembled, as to cause persons in
the neighbourhood of such assembly to fear, on reasonable
grounds, that the persons so assembled will disturb the
peace tumultuously, or will, by such assembly, needlessly
and without any reasonable occasion provoke other persons
to disturb the peace tumultuously.

(2) Persons lawfully assembled together may
become an unlawful assembly if they conduct themselves,
with a common purpose, in such a manner as would have
made their assembling unlawful if they had assembled in
that manner for that purpose.

(3) An assembly of three or more persons for the
purpose of protecting the house of any one of their number
against persons threatening to break and enter such house
in order to commit any crime therein is not unlawful.

80. (1) Any magistrate or, in the absence of any
magistrate, any justice of the peace or any commissioned
officer in Her Majesty’s military or naval service in whose
view a riot is being committed, or who apprehends that a
riot is about to be committed by persons assembled within
his view, may make or cause to be made a proclamation in
the Queen’s name, commanding the rioters or persons so
assembled to disperse peaceably.

(2) The order and form of such proclamation shall
be as hereafter followeth, that is to say, the magistrate or
other person authorised by this Act to make the said
proclamation shall, among the rioters, or persons so
assembled, or as near to them as he can safely come, with a
loud voice command or cause to be commanded silence,


Unlawful
assembly.

See s. 418.

See s. 414.

Making
proclamation for
rioters to
disperse.

Form of
proclamation.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 75





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

and after that shall openly and with a loud voice make or
cause to be made, proclamation in these words or to a like
effect:

“Our Sovereign Lady the Queen chargeth and commandeth
all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse
themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to
their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the Penal
Code for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies.
“GOD SAVE THE QUEEN”.

(3) Every such magistrate or other person authorised
to make such proclamation is hereby authorised, empow-
ered and required on notice or knowledge of a riot being
committed or being about to be committed, to resort to the
place where such riot is or is about to be committed and
there to make or cause to be made proclamation in manner
aforesaid.

81. (1) If upon the expiration of one hour after such
proclamation made, or after the making of such proclama-
tion has been prevented by force, twelve or more persons
continue riotously assembled together, any person
authorised to make proclamation, or any peace officer, or
any other person acting in aid of such person or officer,
may do all things necessary for dispersing the persons so
continuing assembled or for apprehending them or any of
them, and, if any person makes resistance, may use all such
force as is reasonably necessary for overcoming such
resistance, and shall not be liable in any criminal or civil
proceeding for having by the use of such force caused
harm or death to any person.

(2) It shall be lawful for any person authorised to
make proclamation, or any peace officer to command all
Her Majesty’s subjects of age and ability to assist them in
dispersing or apprehending the persons so assembled and
riotously and tumultuously continuing together after
proclamation made as aforesaid, or after the making of
such proclamation has been prevented, and it shall be the
duty of all persons so commanded to assist when required.

Duty of
magistrate to
resort to place of
riot.

See s. 414.

Dispersion of
rioters after
proclamation
made.

Duty to assist in
dispersion of
rioters.
See s. 88.

CH.84 – 76] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Perjury
82. It shall be lawful for any judicial officer and for

any person presiding at a tribunal sitting for the hearing,
trial and determination of any judicial proceeding, in case
it shall appear that any witness has been guilty of wilful
and corrupt perjury in any evidence given, or in any
affidavit, deposition, examination, answer or other pro-
ceeding so made or taken, to direct such witness to be
prosecuted for perjury, in case there shall appear reason-
able cause for such prosecution, and to commit such
witness until the next criminal sessions unless such witness
shall enter into a recognisance with one or more sufficient
surety or sureties conditioned for his appearance at such
next sessions, and that he will then surrender and take his
trial, and not depart the court without leave; and to require
any party needed for such prosecution to enter into a
recognisance conditioned to prosecute, or give evidence
against such witness, and to give the party so bound a
certificate of the prosecution having been directed, which
certificate shall be given without any fee or charge, and
shall be deemed sufficient proof of such prosecution
having been directed as aforesaid:

Provided that no such direction or certificate shall be
given in evidence upon any trial to be had against any
witness upon a prosecution so directed as aforesaid.

TITLE iv
ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT OFFENCES

83. (1) A person who attempts to commit an offence
by any means shall not be acquitted on the ground that, by
reason of the imperfection or other condition of the means,
or by reason of the circumstances under which they are
used, or by reason of any circumstances affecting the
person against whom, or the thing in respect of which, the
offence is intended to be committed, or by reason of the
absence of such person or thing, the offence could not be
committed according to his intent.

(2) Whoever attempts to commit an offence shall, if
the attempt is frustrated by reason only of accident or of
circumstances or events independent of his will, be deemed
guilty of an attempt in the first degree, and shall, except as
in this Code otherwise expressly provided, be punishable in
the same manner as if the offence had been completed.

See s. 423.

Power on
reasonable cause
to direct a
prosecution for
perjury.
Recognisance
may be taken.

Provisions
relating to
attempt to
commit offences.

See s. 77.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(3) Whoever is guilty of an attempt other than an
attempt in the first degree, shall, except as in this Code
otherwise expressly provided, be liable to any kind of
punishment to which he would have been liable if the
offence had been completed; but the court shall mitigate
the punishment according to the circumstances of the case.

(4) Where any act amounts to a complete offence,
as defined by any provisions of this Code, and is also an
attempt to commit some other crime, a person who is guilty
of it shall be liable to be convicted and punished either
under such provision or under this section.

(5) Any provision of this Code with respect to
intent, exemption, justification or extenuation, or any other
matter in the case of any act, shall apply with the necessary
modifications, to the case of an attempt to do that act.

(6) The question whether an act done or omitted with
intent to commit an offence is or is not only preparation for
the commission of that offence, and too remote to constitute
an attempt to commit, is a question of law.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A. buys poison and brings it into B.’s room,
intending there to mix it with B.’s drink. A. has not attempted to poison
B. But if A. begins to mix it with B.’s drink, though A. afterwards alters
his mind and throws away the mixture, he is guilty of an attempt in the
second degree.

(b) A. points a gun, believing it to be loaded, and meaning
immediately to discharge it at B. A. is guilty of an attempt, although the
gun is not in fact loaded.

(c) A. puts his hand into B.’s pocket with the purpose of stealing.
A. is guilty of an attempt, although there is nothing in the pocket.

(d) A. performs an operation on B. with a view to abortion. A. is
guilty of an attempt, although B. is not in fact with child.

Subs. (2) — In the three last cases mentioned in the foregoing
illustrations of Subs. (1), A. is guilty of an attempt in the first degree.

84. Where the complete commission of the offence
charged is not proved, but the evidence establishes an
attempt to commit the offence, the accused may be
convicted of this attempt, and punished accordingly:

See s. 12.

Case of full
offence charged,
attempt proved.
See s. 129(3).

CH.84 – 78] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that after a conviction for the attempt, the
person so convicted shall not be liable to be tried again for
the offence which he was charged with committing.

85. Where an attempt to commit an offence is
charged but the evidence establishes the commission of
the full offence, the accused shall not be entitled to be
discharged, but he may be convicted of the attempt, and
punished accordingly:

Provided that after a conviction for the attempt, the
accused shall not be liable to be tried again for the offence
which he was charged with attempting to commit.

TITLE v
ABETMENT AND CONSPIRACY

86. (1) Whoever directly or indirectly, instigates,
commands, counsels, procures, solicits or in any manner
purposely aids, facilitates, encourages or promotes,
whether by his act or presence or otherwise, and every
person who does any act for the purpose of aiding,
facilitating, encouraging or promoting the commission of
an offence by any other person, whether known or
unknown, certain or uncertain, is guilty of abetting that
offence, and of abetting the other person in respect of that
offence.

(2) Whoever abets a crime or offence shall, if the
same is actually committed in pursuance or during the con-
tinuance of the abetment, be deemed guilty of that crime or
offence.

(3) Whoever abets a crime shall, if the crime is not
actually committed, be punishable as follows, that is to
say —

(a) if the commission of the crime is prevented by
reason only of accident, or of circumstances or
events independent of the will of the abettor, the
abettor shall, where the crime abetted was
murder, be liable to imprisonment for life, or
shall, where the crime abetted was any crime
other than murder, be punishable in the same
manner as if the crime had been actually
committed in pursuance of the abetment;

Case of attempt
charged, full
offence proved.

See s. 129(3).

See s. 307.

Abetment of
offence and trial,
and punishment
of abettor.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) in any other case the abettor shall, if the crime
which he abetted was a felony, be deemed guilty
of felony, or shall, if such crime was a
misdemeanour, be deemed guilty of a misdemea-
nour.

(4) Whoever abets a crime or an offence shall be
punishable on indictment or on summary conviction,
according as he would be punishable for committing that
crime or offence.

(5) An abettor may be tried before, with, or after a
person abetted, and although the person abetted is dead or
is otherwise not amenable to justice; and any number of
abettors at different times to an offence may likewise be
tried together.

(6) An abettor may be tried, before, with, or after
any other abettor, whether he and such other abettor
abetted each other in respect of the offence or not, and
whether they abetted the same or different parts of the
offence.

(7) An abettor shall have the benefit of any matter
of exemption, justification or extenuation to which he is
entitled under this Code, notwithstanding that the person
abetted or any other abettor is not entitled to the like
benefit.

(8) Whoever within the jurisdiction of the courts,
abets the doing beyond the jurisdiction of an act which, if
done within the jurisdiction, would be an offence shall be
punishable as if he had abetted that offence.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A. encourages B. to commit murder. Here A. is
guilty of abetting murder.

(b) A. offers B. five pounds to assault C. Here A. is guilty of
abetting an assault on C.

(c) A. and B. are fighting unlawfully. C. and others hinder a peace
officer from stopping the fight. Here C. and the others are guilty of
abetting the fight.

Subs. (3) —(a) A. encourages B. to commit a burglary. B. attempts
to commit the burglary, but is discovered and arrested. Here A. is
punishable as if he had committed the burglary.

(b) A. employs B. to commit a burglary, but before any attempt has
been made by B., A. and B. agree to abandon the design. Here A. is
punishable as for a simple felony, and not with the increased
punishment provided for burglary.

CH.84 – 80] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Subs. (7) —(a) A. unlawfully strikes B., and B. and others
immediately set upon A. and beat him so that he dies. Here, if the blow
struck by A. was such as to be a provocation to B. (section 300), B.
may be guilty of manslaughter, although the others may be guilty of
murder.

(b) A. unlawfully incites B. to assault a person. B. knows, but A.
does not know, that the person assaulted is a peace officer acting in the
execution of his duty. Here B. is, but A. is not, liable to the increased
punishment provided by section 258 with respect to assault on peace
officers.

Subs. (8) —A., being in The Bahamas, incites B. to carry a ship to
sea and scuttle her, with intent to defraud the underwriters. A. is liable
under this provision.

87. (1) Where a person abets a particular offence, or
abets an offence against or in respect of a particular person
or thing, and the person abetted actually commits a
different offence, or commits the offence against or in
respect of a different person or thing, or in a manner
different from that which was intended by the abettor, the
following provisions shall have effect, that is to say —

(a) if it appears that the offence actually committed
was not a probable consequence of the endea-
vour to commit, nor was substantially the same
as the offence which the abettor intended to
abet, nor was within the scope of the abetment,
the abettor shall be punishable for his abetment
of the offence which he intended to abet in the
manner provided by this Title with respect to the
abetment of offences which are not actually
committed;

(b) in any other case, the abettor shall be deemed to
have abetted the offence which was actually
committed, and shall be liable to punishment
accordingly.

(2) If a person abets a riot or unlawful assembly,
with the knowledge that unlawful violence is intended or is
likely to be used, he is guilty of abetting violence of any
kind or degree which is committed by any other person in
executing the purposes of the riot or assembly, although he
did not expressly intend to abet violence of that kind or
degree.

See s. 307.

Cases where one
offence is abetted
and a different
offence is
committed.

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Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A. incites B. to commit a robbery by threats,
without violence, on C. B., in attempting to commit the robbery, is
resisted, and murders C. Here A. is guilty of abetting robbery and not
of abetting murder.

(b) A. incites B. to steal a horse; B., in pursuance of the incitement,
gets the horse by false pretences. Here A. is guilty of abetting the crime
which B. has committed.

Subs. (2) —Persons assemble together for the purpose of breaking
open a prison and releasing a prisoner by force. Some of them are
armed. If murder is committed by one of these in breaking open the
prison, all persons, whether armed or not, who took part in or
otherwise abetted the breaking open the prison, are guilty of abetting
murder, if they knew that arms were carried and were intended or
likely to be used.

88. Whoever, knowing that a person decides to
commit or is committing a felony, fails to use all
reasonable means to prevent the commission or comple-
tion thereof is guilty of a misdemeanour.

89. (1) If two or more persons agree or act together
with a common purpose in committing or abetting an
offence whether with or without any previous concert or
deliberation, each of them is guilty of conspiracy to
commit or abet that offence as the case may be.

(2) A person within the jurisdiction of the courts can
be guilty of conspiracy by agreeing with another person
who is beyond the jurisdiction for the commission or
abetment of any offence to be committed by them or either
of them, or by any other person, either within or beyond
the jurisdiction; and for the purposes of this subsection as
to an offence to be committed beyond the jurisdiction,
“offence” means any act which, if done within the
jurisdiction, would be an offence under this Code or an
offence punishable on conviction under any other law.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) If a lawful assembly is violently disturbed (section
421), any persons who take part in the disturbance are guilty of
conspiracy to disturb it, although they may not have personally
committed any violence, and although they do not act in pursuance of
any previous concert or deliberation.

Duty to prevent
felony.
See ss. 81(2), 246
and 447.

Conspiracy.

CH.84 – 82] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010



(b) A. and B. agree together to procure C. to commit a crime. Here
A. and B. are both guilty of conspiracy to abet that crime.

Subs. (2) —A., in The Bahamas, and B. in Jamaica, agree and
arrange by letter for the scuttling of a ship on the high seas, with intent
to defraud the underwriters. Here A. is guilty of a conspiracy
punishable under this Code.

90. (1) If two or more persons are guilty of
conspiracy for the commission or abetment of any offence,
each of them shall, in case the offence is committed, be
punished as for that offence according to the provisions of
this Code, or shall, in case the offence is not committed, be
punished as if he had abetted the offence.

(2) Any court having jurisdiction to try a person for
an offence shall have jurisdiction to try a person or persons
charged with conspiracy to commit or abet that offence.

TITLE vi
CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY AND

GENERAL EXEMPTIONS
91. (1) Nothing is an offence which is done by a

person under ten years of age.
(2) Nothing is an offence which is done by a person

of or above seven years and under twelve years of age,
who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding
to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct in
the matter in respect of which he is accused.

Illustrations

Subs. (2) —(a) A., aged eight years, steals a ring. Here A. ought to
be convicted if the court thinks that A. was capable of understanding
that he was committing an offence.

(b) A., aged eight years, administers poison to B. Here the question
whether A. is guilty of an attempt to murder or to cause dangerous
harm, or is guilty of unlawfully and knowingly administering noxious
matter, or is guilty of any offence, depends upon the extent to which he
was capable of understanding the probable effect of his act.

(c) A child aged eight years ought not to be convicted of libel,
unless he is shown to have been capable of understanding the probable
effect of the libel.

Punishment for
conspiracy.

Responsibility of
infant.
1 of 2007, Sixth
Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 83





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

92. A person accused of an offence shall be deemed
to have been insane at the time he committed the act in
respect of which he is accused —

(1) if he was prevented, by reason of idiocy,
imbecility or any mental derangement or disease
affecting the mind, from knowing the nature or
consequences of the act in respect of which he is
accused;

(2) if he did the act in respect of which he is accused
under the influence of an insane delusion of such
a nature as to render him, in the opinion of the
jury or of the court, an unfit subject for
punishment of any kind in respect of such act.

Illustrations

Para. (1) —(a) A person who, by reason of idiocy, is incapable of
knowing that his act will cause death cannot be convicted of murder,
but if he did the act in respect of which he is charged, a special verdict
should be found in accordance with the provisions of any Act dealing
with criminal procedure.

(b) A person who commits homicide by reason of such a paroxysm
of madness as at the time makes him incapable of considering that
murder is a crime, cannot be convicted of murder, but a special verdict
should be found as in illustration (a).

(c) A person is not to be acquitted of murder under this section
merely because it is proved that, by reason of mental derangement, he
has a propensity to homicide.

Para. (2) —(a) A. kills B. by reason of an insane delusion that B. is
attempting to kill A. Here the jury will be justified in finding a special
verdict as in illustration (1) (a).

(b) A. is subject to insane delusions. In an interval of freedom from
these delusions, A. kills B. Here the jury ought not to take into account
the fact that at other times A. was subject to delusions.

93. (1) Save as provided in this section, intoxication
shall not constitute a defence to any criminal charge.

(2) Intoxication shall be a defence to any criminal
charge if by reason thereof the person charged, at the time
of the act or omission complained of, did not know that
such an act or omission was wrong or did not know what
he was doing; and —

Criminal status
of insane person.

See s. 305.

Criminal liability
of intoxicated
persons.

15 of 1936, s. 2.

CH.84 – 84] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) the state of intoxication was caused without his
consent by the malicious or negligent act of
another person; or

(b) the person charged was by reason of intoxication
insane, temporarily or otherwise, at the time of
such act or omission.

(3) Where the defence under the preceding
subsection is established, then in a case falling under
paragraph (a) thereof the accused person shall be
discharged and in a case falling under paragraph (b) the
ordinary criminal law relating to insanity shall apply.

(4) Intoxication shall be taken into account for the
purpose of determining whether the person charged had
formed any intention specific or otherwise, in the absence
of which he would not be guilty of the offence.

(5) For the purposes of this section “intoxication”
shall be deemed to include a state produced by narcotics or
drugs.

94. A married woman committing an offence in the
presence of her husband shall not be presumed to have
committed it under his compulsion.

95. (1) A wife shall have the same remedies and
redress under this Code for the protection and security of
her own separate property as if such property belonged to
her as a femme sole:

Provided that no proceedings under this Code shall
be taken by any wife against her husband while they are
living together as to or concerning any property claimed by
her, nor while they are living apart as to or concerning any
act done by the husband while they are living together
concerning property claimed by the wife, unless such
property has been wrongfully taken by the husband when
leaving or deserting or about to leave or desert his wife.

(2) In like manner, a wife doing an act with respect
to any property of her husband, which if done by the
husband in respect to property of the wife, would make the
husband liable to criminal proceedings by the wife under
this Code, shall be liable to criminal proceedings by her
husband.

96. (1) A person shall not be punished for any act
which, by reason of ignorance or mistake of fact in good
faith, he believes to be lawful.

Criminal liability
of married
woman.

Liability of
husband or wife
to criminal
proceedings.

Ignorance or
mistake of fact or
of law.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) A person shall not, except as in this Code
otherwise expressly provided, be exempt from liability to
punishment for any act on the ground of ignorance that
such act is prohibited by law.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —See illustration to section 16.
Subs. (2) —A., in defending himself against an assault, uses

greater violence than is justifiable under the provisions of Title vii.
Here A. cannot excuse himself on the ground that he did not know such
violence to be unlawful.

TITLE vii
JUSTIFIABLE FORCE AND HARM.

97. (1) For the purposes of this Code, force or harm
is justifiable which is used or caused in pursuance of such
matter of justification, and within such limits, as are
hereinafter in this Title mentioned.

(2) Throughout the remainder of this Title,
expressions applying to the use of force apply also to the
causing of harm, although force only may be expressly
mentioned.

Illustrations

Sections 98 and 99 mentioned “force” only, but they must be
understood as if they mentioned “harm” also.

98. Force may be justified in the cases and manner,
and subject to the conditions, hereafter in this Title
mentioned, on the ground of any of the following matters,
namely —

(1) express authority given by a statute;
(2) authority to execute the lawful sentence or order

of a court;
(3) authority of an officer to keep the peace or of a

court to preserve order;
(4) authority to arrest and detain for felony;
(5) authority to arrest, detain or search a person

otherwise than for felony;

Justification for
force or harm.

Grounds on
which force or
harm may be
justified, within
prescribed limits.

CH.84 – 86] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(6) necessity for prevention of or defence against
crime;

(7) necessity for defence of property or possession
or for overcoming obstruction to the exercise of
lawful rights;

(8) necessity for preserving order on board a vessel;
(9) authority to correct a child, servant or other

similar person, for misconduct;
(10) the consent of the person against whom the force

is used (save where otherwise expressly
provided in this Code).

99. Notwithstanding the existence of any matter of
justification for force, force cannot be justified as having
been used in pursuance of that matter —

(1) which is in excess of the limits hereinafter
prescribed in the section of this Title relating to
that matter;

(2) which in any case extends beyond the amount
and kind of force reasonably necessary for the
purpose for which force is permitted to be used.

100. Whoever is authorised by the provisions of this
Code or any other statute to use force may justify the use
of necessary force according to the terms and conditions of
his authority.

101. Whoever is authorised to execute any lawful
sentence or order of a court may justify the use of the force
mentioned in the sentence or order.

102. Whoever is authorised as a peace officer, or in
any judicial or official capacity, to keep the peace or
preserve order at any place, or to remove or exclude a
person from any place, or to use force for any similar
purpose, may justify the execution of his authority by any
necessary force not extending to a blow, wound or
grievous harm.

103. (1) Any person may, with or without warrant or
other legal process, arrest and detain another person who
has commited a felony, and may, if the other person,
having notice or believing that he is accused of felony,
avoids arrest by resistance or flight or escapes or


General limits of
justifiable force
or harm.

Use of force by
authority of
statute.

Use of force in
execution of
sentence or order
of a court.

Use of force by
peace officer, or
by judicial
officer or official
authority, for
preservation of
order.

Use of force in
arrest, detention,
or recapture of
felon.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

endeavours to escape from custody, use any force which is
necessary for his arrest, detention or recapture, and may
kill him, if he cannot by any means otherwise be arrested,
detained or re-taken.

(2) Whoever is duly authorised by warrant or other
legal process to arrest or detain a person for felony may, if
that person has notice or believes that a warrant or other
legal process is in force against him, justify any force
which is necessary for his arrest, detention or recapture,
and may kill him, if he cannot by any means otherwise be
arrested, detained or re-taken, although in fact the felony
has not been committed by the other person, or although in
fact no felony has been committed.

104. (1) Any peace officer and all persons whom he
shall call to his assistance may arrest and take persons into
custody without a warrant in the following cases —

(a) any person whom he finds committing an
offence against the person or against property as
to which it is provided under this Code that the
offender may be punished by imprisonment;

(b) any intoxicated or idle or disorderly person
whom he finds in any way disturbing the peace,
whether in a public or private place, and causing
public annoyance, or guilty of any other offence
against the law which may be an outrage of
public decency or morality;

(c) any person whom he finds during the night lying
or loitering in any highway, yard or other place
and whom he shall have good cause to suspect
of having committed, or being about to commit,
any offence against this Code;

(d) any person whom any other person positively
charges or states that he suspects of having
committed any crime or the offence of stealing
or obtaining goods by false pretences, or
receiving stolen goods, or the offence of cruelty
to or causing injury to an animal, if the charge or
suspicion appears to the peace officer to be well-
founded and the informant is willing to accom-
pany the peace officer and at the police station is
willing to enter into recognisance conditioned to
prosecute the charge;

Arrest without
warrant by peace
officer.

Persons seen
committing an
offence.
See ss. 34 and
63.

Drunken or
disorderly
persons.

Persons loitering
at night.

Persons charged
by others if
charge appears
well founded.

CH.84 – 88] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(e) any person whom any other person charges with
having committed an aggravated assault, if the
peace officer has good reason to believe that
such an assault has been committed, although
not within his view, and that by reason of its
recent commission a warrant could not have
been obtained for the apprehension of the person
charged.

(2) Any such person arrested as aforesaid shall be
taken, as soon as reasonably may be, before a magistrate to
be dealt with according to law; unless he be released on
bail, approved by the Commissioner of Police or other
authorised member of the police force, under the provi-
sions of the Police Act, or on bail otherwise lawfully
authorised.

105. Whoever has authority, by warrant or other legal
process or under the provisions of any statute, to arrest,
detain or search another person otherwise than for felony,
may justify any necessary force not extending to a blow,
wound or grievous harm, if the other person has notice or
believes that the force is used by virtue of any such
authority.

106. Where the arrest, detention or search of a person
is justifiable only on the authority of a warrant or other
written process, if the person demands a view of the
warrant or process, the use of force against him cannot be
justified unless he is permitted to inspect the warrant or
process, and he refuses to submit to the authority thereof.

107. (1) For the prevention of, or for the defence of
himself or any other person against, any crime, a person
may justify the use of necessary force, not extending to a
blow, wound or grievous harm.

(2) For the prevention of, or for the defence of
himself or any other person against, any criminal force or
harm, a person may justify the use of necessary force, not
extending to a wound or grievous harm.

(3) For the prevention of, or for the defence of
himself or any other person against, any felony, a person
may justify the use of necessary force not extending to
dangerous harm.

See also ss. 34
and 63.

Persons charged
with assaults
recently
committed.

Offenders to be
promptly taken to
court, unless
released on bail.

Ch. 205.

Use of force to
arrest, detain or
search a person
otherwise than
for felony.

Right of person
arrested, etc., to
inspect warrant.

Use of force for
prevention of or
defence against
crime.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 89





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) For the prevention of, or for the defence of
himself or any other person against, any of the following
crimes, a person may justify any necessary force or harm,
extending, in the case of extreme necessity, even to killing,
namely —

(a) treason;
(b) piracy;
(c) murder;
(d) manslaughter, except manslaughter by negli-

gence;
(e) robbery;
(f) burglary;
(g) house-breaking;
(h) arson of a dwelling-house or vessel;
(i) rape;
(j) forcible unnatural crime;
(k) dangerous or grievous harm.
(5) For the suppression or dispersion of a riotous or

unlawful assembly, force may be justified in the cases and
subject to the conditions specified in this Code with respect
to such assemblies.

(6) No force used in an unlawful fight can be
justified under any provision of this Code; and every fight
is an unlawful fight in which a person engages, or which he
maintains, otherwise than solely in pursuance of some of
the matters of justification specified in this Title.

108. A person may justify the use of force for the
defence of property or possession, or for overcoming an
obstruction to the exercise of any legal right, as follows —

(1) a person in actual possession of a house, land,
vessel or goods, or his servant or any other
person authorised by him, may use such force,
not extending to a wound or grievous harm, as is
necessary for repelling a person who attempts
forcibly and unlawfully to enter the house, land
or vessel, or to take possession of the goods;

(2) a person in actual possession of a house, land or
vessel, or his servant or any other person
authorised by him may use such force, not
extending to a blow, wound or grievous harm,


See s. 300.

See s. 81.

Use of force for
defence of
property or
possession or
overcoming
obstruction of
legal right.

CH.84 – 90] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

as is necessary for removing a person who,
being in or on the house, land or vessel, and
having been lawfully required to depart
therefrom, refuses to depart;

(3) if a person wrongfully takes possession of or
detains goods, any other person who, as against
him, has a present right to the possession of
them, may, upon his refusal to deliver up the
goods on demand, use such force, by himself or
by any other person, not extending to a blow,
wound or grievous harm, as is necessary for
recovering possession of the goods;

(4) a person may use such force, not extending to a
blow, wound or grievous harm, as is necessary
for overcoming any obstruction or resistance to
the exercise by him of any legal right.

109. The master of a vessel, or any person acting by
his order, may justify the use of any such force against any
person on board the vessel as is necessary for suppressing
any mutiny or disorder on board the vessel, whether among
officers, seamen or passengers, whereby the safety of the
vessel, or of any person therein or about to enter or quitting
the same, is likely to be endangered, or the master is
threatened to be subject to the commands of any other
person; and may kill any person who is guilty of or abets
such mutiny or disorder, if the safety of the vessel, or the
preservation of any person as aforesaid, cannot by any
means be otherwise secured.

110. A blow or other force, not in any case extending
to a wound or grievous harm, may be justified for the
purpose of correction, as follows —

(1) a parent may correct his or her legitimate or
illegitimate child, being under sixteen years of
age, or any guardian or person acting as a
guardian, his ward, being under sixteen years of
age, for misconduct or disobedience to any
lawful command;

(2) a master may correct his servant or apprentice,
being under sixteen years of age, for misconduct
or default in his duty as such servant or
apprentice;

Use of force for
preserving order
on board a
vessel.

Use of force in
correcting a
child, servant or
other similar
person for
misconduct.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 91





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(3) the master of a ship may correct any person on
board his ship who is bound to perform any
manual labour, for misconduct or disobedience
to any lawful command;

(4) a parent or guardian, or a person acting as a
guardian, may delegate to any person whom he
or she entrusts permanently or temporarily with
the governance or custody of his or her child or
ward all his or her own authority for correction,
including the power to determine in what cases
correction ought to be inflicted; and such a
delegation shall be presumed, except in so far as
it may be expressly withheld, in the case of a
schoolmaster or a person acting as a school-
master, in respect of a child or ward;

(5) a person who is authorised to inflict correction
as in this section mentioned may, in any
particular case, delegate to any fit person the
infliction of such correction; and

(6) no correction can be justified which is unreason-
able in kind or in degree, regard being had to the
age and physical and mental condition of the
person on whom it is inflicted; and no correction
can be justified in the case of a person who, by
reason of tender years or otherwise, is incapable
of understanding the purpose for which it is
inflicted.

111. The use of force against a person may be
justified on the ground of his consent, subject as follows —

(1) the killing of a person cannot be justified on the
ground of consent;

(2) a wound or grievous harm cannot be justified on
the ground of consent, unless the consent is
given and the wound or harm is caused in good
faith for the purposes or in the course of medical
or surgical treatment;

(3) a party to a fight whether lawful or unlawful
cannot justify on the ground of the consent of
another party any force which he uses with
intent to cause harm to the other party;

(4) a person may revoke any consent which he has
given to the use of force against him and his
consent when so revoked shall have no effect for
justifying force:

Use of force in
case of consent
of the person
against whom it
is used.

CH.84 – 92] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that the consent given by a husband or
wife at marriage for the purposes of marriage
cannot be revoked until the parties are divorced
or separated by a judgment or decree of a
competent court;

(5) consent to the use of force for the purposes of
medical or surgical treatment does not extend to
any improper or negligent treatment;

(6) consent to the use of force against a person for
purposes of medical or surgical treatment or
otherwise for his benefit may be given against
his will by his parent or guardian or person
acting as his guardian if he is under eighteen
years of age or by any person lawfully having
the custody of him if he is insane or is a prisoner
in any prison or reformatory, and, when so given
on his behalf, cannot be revoked by him; and

(7) if a person is intoxicated or insensible, or is from
any cause unable to give or withhold consent,
any force is justifiable which is used, in good
faith and without negligence, for the purposes of
medical or surgical treatment, or otherwise for
his benefit, unless some person authorised by
him or by law to give or refuse consent on his
behalf dissents from the use of such force.

112. Whoever, in justifiably using force against
another person, is obstructed or resisted by a third person,
may in any case use such force against the third person, not
extending to a blow, wound or grievous harm, as is
necessary for overcoming the obstruction or resistance; and
may, if the obstruction or resistance amounts to a crime or
to abetment of a crime, use force in accordance with the
provisions of this Title, with respect to the use of force in
case of necessity for preventing crime.

113. Whoever is authorised to use force of a
particular kind against a person may further use such
additional force, not extending to a blow, wound or
grievous harm, as is necessary for the execution of his
authority.

Use of force
against third
person
interfering in
case of justifiable
use of force.

See s. 300.

Use of additional
force for exercise
of justifiable
force.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 93





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



Illustration

A. is directed by the sentence of the court to flog B. A. may use any
force, not extending to a blow, wound or grievous harm, which is
necessary for compelling B. to submit.

114. Whoever aids another person in a justifiable use
of force is justified to the same extent and under the same
conditions as the other person.

TITLE viii
LAW AS TO PUNISHMENTS

115. The following punishments may be inflicted
under this Code —

(1) death;
(2) imprisonment;
(3) fine;
(4) payment of costs; and
(5) payment of compensation.
116. (1) Where a crime is declared by this Code, or

by any other statute, to be felony, and the punishment for it
is not specified, a person convicted thereof shall be liable
to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) Where an offence is declared by this Code or by
any other statute, to be a misdemeanour, and the punish-
ment for it is not specified, a person convicted thereof shall
be liable to imprisonment for two years.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Code or of any
other statute relating to the offence, the court before which
any person is convicted of an offence punishable by
imprisonment may, in its discretion, sentence him to any
less term of imprisonment than the term prescribed by this
Code, or such other statute for the offence.

(4) Whenever solitary confinement may be awarded
for any offence under this Code or any other statute, the
court may direct the offender to be kept in solitary
confinement for any portion or portions of any term of
imprisonment which the court may award, not exceeding
one month at any one time, and not exceeding three months
in any one year.

Justification of
person aiding
another in use of
justifiable force.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Different kinds
of punishment.

General rules
relating to
imprisonment.

CH.84 – 94] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(5) Subject to the provisions of this Code or of any
other Act, a magistrate shall not by any sentence of
imprisonment or by cumulative sentences of imprisonment
(other than for default of finding sureties) to take effect in
succession in respect of several offences committed on the
same occasion, inflict on any person imprisonment for the
whole exceeding six months.

117. In the application to The Bahamas of any Act of
the Parliament of the United Kingdom or in the
construction of any unrepealed Act in which reference is
made to penal servitude, a sentence of imprisonment with
hard labour for three years or upwards shall be deemed to
be equivalent to a sentence of penal servitude; and any
sentence of imprisonment with hard labour for three years
or more under this Code may be referred to as a sentence to
penal servitude.

118. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this,
or any other law, no form of corporal punishment shall be
imposed as a penalty under any law in respect to the
commission of a criminal or disciplinary offence.

119. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Code or of
any other Act relating to the offence, the court may, in its
discretion, sentence any person convicted before it of an
offence punishable by penalty or fine, to any less penalty
or fine than that prescribed by this Code, or such other
statute, for the offence.

(2) Where a person is convicted of any indictable
offence, the court may, in its discretion, sentence him to
pay a fine in addition to any other punishment to which he
is sentenced.

(3) Where the amount of the fine which a person
may be sentenced to pay upon conviction on indictment is
not expressly limited, the amount of fine to which he may
be sentenced shall be in the discretion of the court,
provided it shall not be excessive.

(4) Where a person is convicted of a summary
offence, in respect of which imprisonment is prescribed as
the punishment therefor, the court may in its discretion
inflict a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars in addition
to any other punishment to which he is sentenced:

Penal servitude.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Abolition of
corporal
punishment.

General rules as
to fine and
penalties.

Indictable cases.

Summary cases.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 95





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Provided that the amount of the fine so inflicted will
not subject the offender, in default of payment, to any
greater term of imprisonment for the offence than that to
which he would have been otherwise liable.

(5) Every fine, inflicted under this Code or under
any other Act, may be recovered by the seizure and sale of
the goods and chattels of the offender under warrant of
distress, to be issued by the court and to be executed
according to the law and rules of procedure in that behalf
prescribed by the Magistrates Act or any Act amending the
provisions of that Act regulating such procedure; or the
court inflicting the fine may, in its discretion, order that it
be forthwith recovered by imprisonment:

Provided that —
(a) if such fine is inflicted by the Supreme Court,

the term of such imprisonment to be imposed in
case the fine is not paid, shall not, either alone or
together with the term of any imprisonment
imposed as a punishment, exceed the longest
term of imprisonment which can be imposed as
a punishment for the offence;

(b) if such fine is inflicted in respect of a conviction
for a summary offence, the term of imprisonment
imposed in respect of the non-payment of any
such fine and any other sum of money adjudged
to be paid under any order or conviction by a
magistrate, shall not in any case exceed the
maximum fixed by the following scale —
(a) if the amount of the sum or sums of money

adjudged to be paid does not exceed twenty-
five dollars, the term of imprisonment shall
not exceed two months;

(b) if such amount does not exceed seventy-five
dollars, such term shall not exceed four
months;

(c) if such amount exceeds seventy-five dollars,
such term shall not exceed six months.

(6) Subsection (1) shall not apply where the penalty
by this Code for the offence is a minimum term of
imprisonment except in those cases where it is provided
that the court may impose a lesser term other than the
minimum and so does.

All fines are
recoverable by
distress or by
imprisonment.

Ch. 54.

5 of 1987, Sch.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

CH.84 – 96] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

120. (1) Where any person shall be convicted of any
indictable offence under this Code or under any other
statute, such person may, if the court thinks fit, in addition
to any sentence which the court may deem proper for the
offence, be adjudged to pay the actual and necessary costs
and expenses of the prosecution, including the attendance
and travelling expenses of the witnesses for the Crown;
and, unless the sum so awarded shall be sooner paid, the
offender shall be imprisoned for any term the court shall
award, not exceeding three months, in addition to the term
of imprisonment (if any) to which the offender may be
sentenced for the offence.

(2) The court may by warrant order such sum as
shall be so awarded to be levied and recovered in the same
manner as if such award were a fine inflicted under this
Code; and in case such sum shall be so levied the
imprisonment awarded, until payment of such sum, shall
thereupon cease.

(3) Alternatively, the payment of any such costs and
expenses may be enforced at the instance of any person
liable to pay or who may have paid the same, in such and
the same manner (subject to the provisions of any statute
relating to the administration of convicts’ estates) as the
payment of any costs ordered to be paid by the judgment or
order of the Supreme Court in any civil action or
proceeding may for the time being be enforced.

121. (1) In cases of summary conviction the magis-
trate may, in his discretion, award and order that the
defendant shall pay to the complainant such costs as to the
magistrate shall seem reasonable, not exceeding fifty
dollars for each day of attendance at court.

(2) In any case where the magistrate dismisses the
complaint he may, in his discretion, award and order that
the complainant shall pay to the defendant such costs as to
the magistrate shall seem reasonable, not exceeding fifty
dollars for each day of attendance at court.

(3) The sums so allowed for costs shall in all cases
be specified in the conviction or order of dismissal, and the
same shall be recoverable by distress in the same manner
as any fine inflicted under this Code; and in default of
payment of such costs the defaulter shall be imprisoned for
any term not exceeding one month which, in the case of a


General rules as
to costs in
indictable cases.

Mode of
recovery.

Costs in
summary cases.

5 of 1987, Sch.

6 of 1963, ss 2
and 3.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 97





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

conviction, shall be in addition to the term of imprison-
ment to which the offender may be sentenced for the
offence.

(4) Where a fine adjudged by a conviction to be
paid does not exceed five dollars, then except so far as the
magistrate may think fit to expressly order otherwise, an
order shall not be made for payment by the defendant of
any costs; and the magistrate, if he thinks fit, may direct all
fees payable or paid by the complainant to be remitted or
repaid to him, and he may also order the fine or any part
thereof to be paid to him in or towards the payment of his
costs.

122. (1) Any person who is convicted of an indictable
offence may on application of the person aggrieved be
adjudged by the court to make reasonable compensation
for the injury suffered through the crime.

(2) Any person who is convicted of a summary
offence punishable under this Code may be adjudged by
the magistrate to make to any person injured by his offence
compensation not exceeding five hundred dollars, or, if a
higher limit is fixed by an enactment relating to the
offence, not exceeding that higher limit.

(3) Any such compensation may be either in
addition to or in substitution for any other punishment; and
shall be specified in the order of conviction.

(4) Every sum of money so awarded as
compensation shall be payable to the aggrieved party, to be
named in the order; and if such party is unknown the
money shall be deemed to be a fine and dealt with
accordingly.

(5) When several persons join in the commission of
the same offence, and upon conviction thereof each is
adjudged to make compensation in the full sum equivalent
to the value of the property or to the amount of the injury
done, no further sum shall be paid to the party aggrieved
than the sum paid by one of such offenders, and the
corresponding sum paid by any of the other offenders shall
be applied in the same manner as if the same were a fine
imposed.

(6) Every amount awarded as compensation under
this Code shall be deemed a judgment debt due to the
person entitled to receive the same from the person so
convicted, and the order for payment of such amount may


No costs if fine
does not exceed
five dollars.
5 of 1987, Sch.

General rules as
to ordinary
payment of
compensation.
5 of 1987, Sch.;
39 of 1961, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Disposal of sums
awarded as
compensation.

When more than
one offender is
ordered to pay
full
compensation to
complainant.

Mode of
recovery.

CH.84 – 98] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

be enforced in such and the same manner as in the case of
any costs awarded by the court or magistrate under this
Code; and in default of payment of such compensation the
offender shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding the
like term as the court or magistrate may inflict in relation
to default in payment of costs awarded under this Code.

(7) Where any person, injured by any assault punish-
able under this Code by a magistrate, receives compensa-
tion for the injury under order of the court, or where the
offender, having been ordered to make the compensation or
to pay a fine or penalty, suffers imprisonment for non-
payment thereof, or where any person, charged with assault
before a magistrate, receives a certificate of an order of
dismissal, the receipt of the compensation or the undergoing
of the penalty or the receipt of such certificate, as the case
may be, shall be a bar to any action or proceeding for the
same injury.

(8) In other cases in which compensation is awarded
by order under this Code, to the extent of the amount duly
paid under such order, any claim of the person injured or of
his representatives for damages sustained by reason of the
crime or offence shall be deemed to have been satisfied;
but the order for payment of compensation shall not
prejudice any right to a civil remedy for the recovery of
any property or for the recovery of damages beyond the
amount of compensation paid under the order.

Alternative Discretionary Powers as to
Punishments

123. The court before which a person is convicted of
any offence, punishable otherwise than with death, or by a
minimum term of imprisonment may, according to the
circumstances of the case, substitute for a punishment
assigned by this Code a different punishment, as follows —

(1) the court may substitute a fine, which in the case
of a summary offence shall not exceed five
hundred dollars;

(2) the court may order that, in lieu of or in addition
to any other punishment, he enter into his own
recognisance, with or without sureties, for
keeping the peace and being of good behaviour;


Effect of
payment of
compensation or
imprisonment for
non-payment.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Imposition of
alternative
punishments.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 99





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

and that, in default of such recognisance or
sureties, he be imprisoned, in addition to the
term, if any, of imprisonment to which he is
sentenced, for any term not exceeding twelve
months in the case of a conviction before the
Supreme Court, or three months in the case of a
conviction before a magistrate’s court, not
exceeding in either case the term for which he is
liable to be imprisoned for the offence of which
he is convicted.

124. (1) Where a person is convicted of any summary
offence or any crime punishable with imprisonment, and
the court is of opinion that, having regard to the youth,
character or antecedents of the offender, or to the trivial
nature of the offence, or to any extenuating circumstances
under which the offence was committed, it is inexpedient
to inflict any punishment, or any other than a nominal
punishment, or that it is expedient that the offender be
released on probation of good conduct, the court may,
instead of sentencing him at once to any punishment, direct
and order that he be released on his entering into a
recognisance with or without surety or sureties, and during
such period, not exceeding three years, as the court may
direct, to appear for sentence when called upon, and in the
meantime to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

(2) The court may also, subject to the provisions of
this Code, order the offender to pay such damages for
injury or compensation for loss and such costs of the
proceedings as the court thinks reasonable. If the offender
is under sixteen years of age, and it appears to the court
that the parent or guardian of the offender has conduced to
the commission of the offence, by wilful default or by
habitually neglecting to exercise due care of him, the court
may order payment of such damages and costs by such
parent or guardian.

(3) Where an order is made under this section the
order shall, for the purpose of revesting or restoring stolen
property, and of enabling the court to make orders as to the
restitution or delivery of property to the owner and as to
the payment of money upon or in connection with such
restitution or delivery, have the like effect as a conviction.

(4) If the Supreme Court or any magistrate’s court is
satisfied by information on oath that the offender has failed
to observe any of the conditions of his recognisance,


Power to release
offender on
probation.

CH.84 – 100] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

it may issue a warrant for his apprehension, or may, if it
thinks fit, instead of issuing a warrant in the first instance,
issue a summons to the offender and his sureties (if any)
requiring him or them to attend at such court and at each
time as may be specified in the summons.

(5) The offender, when apprehended, shall, if not
brought forthwith before the court before which he is
bound by his recognisance to appear for conviction or
sentence, be brought before a court of summary jurisdic-
tion.

(6) The court before which an offender on
apprehension is brought, or before which he appears in
pursuance of such summons as aforesaid, may, if it is not
the court before which he is bound by his recognisance to
appear for conviction or sentence, remand him to custody
or on bail until he can be brought before the last-mentioned
court.

(7) An offender so remanded to custody may be
committed during remand to any prison to which the court
having power to convict or sentence him has power to
commit prisoners. In the case of a child or young person
under sixteen years of age, he shall be committed into
custody of any fit person named in the commitment who is
willing to receive him (due regard being had, where
practicable, to the religious persuasion of the child), to be
detained in that custody for the period for which he has
been remanded, or until he is thence delivered by due
course of law, and the person so named shall detain the
child or young person accordingly, and if the child or
young person escapes he may be apprehended without
warrant and brought back to the custody in which he was
placed.

(8) A court before which a person is bound by his
recognisance to appear for conviction and sentence, on
being satisfied that he has failed to observe any condition
of his recognisance, may forthwith, without further proof
of his guilt, convict and sentence him for the original
offence.

(9) The court before which any person is bound as
surety by a recognisance given under this Code may, upon
the application of such person, and after notice to the
offender, vary the conditions of the recognisance and may,
on being satisfied that the conduct of the offender has been
such as to make it unnecessary that he should remain
longer under supervision, discharge the recognisance.

Power to vary
conditions of
surety’s
recognisances.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 101





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

The following provisions of this section shall apply to
New Providence only:

Provided that the Governor-General may by Order
extend such provisions, or any portion thereof; to any Out
Island District —

(10) A recognisance order to be entered into under
this section shall, if the court so order, contain a condition
that the offender be under the supervision of such person as
may be named in the order during the period specified in
the order and such other conditions for securing such
supervision as may be specified in the order, and an order
requiring the insertion of such conditions as aforesaid in
the recognisance shall be referred to as a probation order.

(11) A recognisance under this section may contain
additional conditions as the court may, having regard to the
particular circumstances of the case, order to be inserted
therein with respect to all or any of the following matters —

(a) for prohibiting the offender from associating
with thieves and other undesirable persons, or
from frequenting undesirable places;

(b) as to abstention from intoxicating liquor where
the offence was drunkenness or an offence
committed under the influence of drink;

(c) generally for securing that the offender should
lead an honest and industrious life.

(12) The court by which a probation order is made
shall furnish to the offender a notice in writing stating in
simple terms the conditions he is required to observe.

(13) A person named in a probation order may be
paid such remuneration and out-of-pocket expenses as the
court making the probation order may direct; and the court
may at any time relieve him of his duties; in which case (as
well as in case of the death of the person so named)
another person may be substituted by the court.

(14) It shall be the duty of the person named in a
probation order, subject to the directions of the court —

(a) to visit or receive reports from the person under
supervision at such reasonable intervals as may
be specified in the probation order, or, subject
thereto, as the person named in the probation
order may think fit;

(b) to see that he observes the conditions of his
recognisance;

Probation orders.

Remuneration of
and relief to
probation officer.

Duties of
probation officer.

CH.84 – 102] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(c) to report to the court as to his behaviour;
(d) to advise, assist, and befriend him, and, when

necessary, to endeavour to find him suitable
employment.

125. (1) Where a person, having been convicted of an
offence is again convicted, he shall be liable to increased
punishment in the cases and manner provided in Part I. of
the table annexed to this section and the notes thereto:

Provided that —
(a) a previous conviction shall not be admitted in

evidence against a person for the purpose of
increasing his punishment, except within the
period specified in Part II. of the said table after
the expiration of execution of the sentence
passed upon that previous conviction, or of any
sentence into which that sentence has been
commuted;

(b) nothing in this section, or in the said table, shall
exempt a person from any liability to which he
may be subject under this Code to death or to
any greater or other penalty than the punishment
mentioned in the said table, and any other
different penalty to which he is liable under this
Code may be inflicted in addition to the punish-
ments mentioned in the said table; and

(c) nothing in this section or in the said table shall
apply to libel, or to any act which is an offence
on the ground of negligence.

(2) A certificate containing the substance and effect
only (omitting the formal parts) of the complaint and
conviction for the previous offence, purporting to be signed
by the clerk of the court or other officer having the custody
of the record of the court where the offender was
previously convicted shall, upon proof of the identity of the
person of the offender, be sufficient evidence of such
previous conviction, without proof of the signature or
official character of the person appearing to have signed
the same.

(3) Any sentence of imprisonment imposed under
this section may include a direction that the offender be
kept in solitary confinement.

Increase of
punishment on
repetition of
offence.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 103





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) A conviction of a person for an offence
committed by him before attaining the age of eighteen
years shall not be admitted in evidence against him for the
purpose of increasing his punishment after he has attained
the age of twenty years.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt nothing in paragraph
(a) of the proviso to subsection (1) or in the table in this
section shall prevent a court from imposing any minimum
term of imprisonment prescribed by this Code for a second
or subsequent conviction for an offence under Title xix and
subject to the foregoing any increased punishment
authorised to be imposed under this section shall for the
purposes of Part I of the table be in addition to the
maximum term of imprisonment liable to be imposed for
such an offence.

TABLE

PART I
SCALE OF INCREASED PUNISHMENTS FOR REPETITION

OF OFFENCE

Nature of conviction Nature of previous con-
victions.

Punishment to be substituted
for the penalty mentioned
in this Code.

Summary conviction. Twice summarily
convicted of a similar
offence.

Double the amount of the fine
attached to the offence; or
imprisonment for twice the
maximum of imprisonment
which might otherwise be
inflicted.

Do. Conviction on
indictment for a
similar offence.

Double the amount of the fine
attached to the offence; or
imprisonment for six
months in addition to the
punishment mentioned in
this Code.

Conviction on indict-
ment for crime pun-
ishable by
imprisonment for
two years or less.

Do. Imprisonment for one year in
addition to the punishment
mentioned in this Code.

Conviction on indict-
ment for crime pun-
ishable by
imprisonment for
more than two years.

Do. Imprisonment for four years in
addition to the punishment
mentioned in this Code.



12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

CH.84 – 104] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]



Note to Part I of this Table

((1) In this Table, and in the notes thereto, expressions referring to
any offence include attempts to commit and abetments of such offence.

(2) Where a person has, in any part of the Commonwealth beyond
the jurisdiction of the courts, been convicted of felony, or has, within
the jurisdiction of the courts, been convicted of felony committed or
commenced before the commencement of this Code, such conviction
shall have the same effect as if it had taken place under this Code.

(3) Any offence which is punishable under a Title of this Code is
similar to every other offence punishable under the same Title. And
any offence punishable under any of the Titles x., xi., xv. and xviii. to
xx. is similar to every other offence punishable under any of those
Titles, and any offence punishable under any of the Titles xii. to xiv.
and Titles xxii. to xxv. is similar to every other offence punishable
under any of those Titles.


Illustration

For the purpose of this section and table, stealing, robbery,
defrauding by false pretences, and falsifications of accounts are all
“similar” offences.

PART II
PERIODS WITHIN WHICH A CONVICTION MAY BE GIVEN

IN EVIDENCE

Nature of conviction. Within what period after the
execution of the sentence the
conviction may be given in

evidence.
Any summary conviction. Two years.
A conviction upon indictment for

any crime for which a sentence
of imprisonment for three years
or more has not been passed.

Four years.

A conviction upon indictment for
any crime for which any
sentence of imprisonment for
three years or more has been
passed.

Ten years.



12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

43 of 1964, Third
Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 105





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

126. When any person, having been convicted of any
offence punishable with imprisonment for a period of three
years or upwards, is again convicted of any offence
punishable with imprisonment for a period of three years or
upwards, the court may, if it thinks fit, at the time of
passing sentence of imprisonment on such person, also
order that he shall be subject to police supervision as
hereinafter provided for a period not exceeding five years
from the date of the expiration of such sentence.

127. Every person subject to police supervision and
who is at large in The Bahamas shall —

(a) report himself personally once in each month to
the officer in charge of the police station nearest
to his place of residence at such time as may be
directed by such police officer or as may be
prescribed by rules under this section; and

(b) notify the place of his residence and any change
of such residence at such time and place and in
such manner and to such person as may be
prescribed by rules under this section.

(2) The Minister responsible for National Security
may make rules carrying out the provisions of this section.

128. If any person subject to police supervision who
is at large in The Bahamas refuses or neglects to comply
with any requirement prescribed by the last preceding
section or by any rule made thereunder, such person shall,
unless he proves to the satisfaction of the court before
which he is tried that he did his best to act in conformity
with the law, be guilty of an offence and liable to
imprisonment for six months.

Miscellaneous
129. With respect to cases where one act constitutes

several offences or where several acts are done in execution
of one criminal purpose, the following provisions shall have
effect, that is to say —

(1) where a person does several acts against or in
respect of one person or thing, each of which acts
is an offence, but the whole of which acts are
done in execution of the same design, and, in the
opinion of the court before which the person is


Persons twice
convicted may be
subjected to
police
supervision.
38 of 1968, s. 263
and Fourth Sch.

38 of 1968, s. 263
and Fourth Sch.

Requirements
from persons
subject to police
supervision.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

38 of 1968, s. 263
and Fourth Sch.

Failure to
comply with
requirements.

Cases where one
act constitutes
several offences,
or where several
acts are done in
execution of one
criminal purpose.

CH.84 – 106] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

tried, form one continuous transaction, the
person may be punished for the whole of such
acts as one offence or for any one or several of
such acts as one offence, and all or any of the
acts proved to have been committed may be
taken into consideration in awarding punish-
ment, but he shall not be liable to separate
punishments as for several offences;

(2) if a person by one act assaults, harms or kills
several persons, or in any manner causes injury
to several persons or things, he shall be punish-
able only in respect of one of the persons so
assaulted, harmed or killed, or of the persons or
things to which injury is so caused, but in
awarding punishment the court may take into
consideration all the intended or probable
consequences of the crime; and

(3) if, when a person is charged with an offence part
only of such charge is proved, which part
amounts to an offence other than that charged
and being, in the opinion of the court, an offence
committed in execution of the same design as is
specified in the charge, he shall be punishable in
respect of the offence which he is proved to
have committed, although he was not charged
with it, or he may be punishable for an attempt
to commit the offence charged, although not
charged with the attempt:

Provided that on a count charging murder, if the
evidence proves manslaughter, or any crime or offence
other than murder, the accused shall (subject to the special
provisions contained in Title xx, section 312) not be
punishable for any offence other than manslaughter.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(a) A. steals his master’s money, and, in order to
escape detection, falsifies the accounts kept by him for his master.
Here A. ought not to be punished both under section 340 and also
under section 350; but the court may, in awarding punishment for the
stealing, take into consideration the falsifications, or vice versa.

(b) A. assaults B. and strikes him ten blows in immediate
succession. Here A. is not liable to be convicted of ten assaults, and
sentenced to ten terms of imprisonment. But the court may properly
pass a more severe sentence than it would have passed for a single
blow.

See ss. 84, 85.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 107





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



Subs. (2) —(a) A signalman on a railway, by one act of
negligence, causes the death of or injuries to several persons. He
cannot be sentenced to several punishments in respect of the deaths of
or injuries to each or several of such persons.

(b) A person by one act wilfully poisons several cattle. He cannot
be separately punished for each, but the court in considering the
amount of the punishment to be awarded, may take into consideration
the number of the cattle wilfully injured or destroyed.

Subs. (3) —(a) A. is charged with the crime of robbery upon B. but
it is only proved in evidence that he assaulted or caused bodily harm to
B. Here the jury may properly return a verdict convicting A. of
committing the assault or of causing bodily harm, although he had not
been charged with such offences, and he shall be liable to be punished
accordingly.

(b) On the trial of A. upon a charge of stealing certain property, it
is proved that he took the property in such manner as would amount in
law to obtaining it by false pretences. Here the court may properly
convict and punish A. for the offence so proved, although he had not
been charged with it.

(c) A. is tried on charge of raping a female. It is not proved that he
had committed such felony but it is satisfactorily shown in evidence
that he had attempted to commit the same. Here the jury and the court
may properly convict and punish A. either in respect of such attempt or
of having committed an indecent assault.

(d) A. having carnally known B. is charged with the felony of rape.
It is proved in evidence that the act had been done with B.’s consent,
but that B. was under 16 years of age at the time and the jury are
satisfied that A. had reasonable cause to believe her to have been under
that age. Here A. is punishable for the misdemeanour, although he had
been charged solely with the felony.

(e) A. is charged with the manslaughter of B., a child of whom he
had the custody and care, and it appears from the evidence that B. had
been cruelly treated and exposed to unnecessary sufferings whilst
living under A.’s custody. The court and jury are justified in convicting
and punishing A. for such cruelty although he may be acquitted of the
charge of manslaughter.

130. If a person is convicted of felony or is sentenced
to imprisonment for three years or more, the following
consequences shall ensue, unless the court otherwise
orders, namely —

(1) any public office held by him within the
jurisdiction of the court shall forthwith become
vacant;

Consequences of
conviction for
felony, etc.

CH.84 – 108] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) any pension, superannuation allowance, or
emolument payable to him out of the general
revenue or out of any public fund, or chargeable
on any rate or tax, and any accruing right to any
such pension, allowance or emolument, shall
determine and be forfeited as from the time of
the commission of the crime:

Provided that —
(a) none of the consequences mentioned in this

section shall ensue in the case of a person who,
at the time of committing the crime of which he
is convicted, was a minor;

(b) in case the person receives a pardon, he shall
thereby, unless the pardon otherwise directs, be
relieved from all the consequences mentioned in
this section, except as to any office or employ-
ment which, having been vacated under the
provisions of this section, has been filled up
before he receives the pardon.

BOOK II
SUMMARY OFFENCES

TITLE ix
INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

131. If, on the hearing of any complaint under this
Book, the magistrate is of the opinion that a bona fide
question of title to land, or to any interest therein or
accruing therefrom, is raised between the parties, he shall
(subject to the provisions of section 159 of this Code)
dismiss the complaint, and may make such order in respect
of the costs thereof as he thinks fit.

132. Nothing in this Book shall be construed to
abolish or limit the jurisdiction of a magistrate or justice of
the peace in respect of offences constituted by any other
Act and not specified in this Book.

Ousting of
jurisdiction of
magistrate in
cases where bona
fide question of
title is involved.

Saving of
summary
offences
constituted by
other statutes.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 109





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TITLE x
COMMON ASSAULTS AND HARM TO

THE PERSON
133. Whoever unlawfully assaults any person shall be

liable to a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars, or to
imprisonment for three months.

134. (1) Whoever commits an indecent assault upon
any person, whether male or female, shall be liable to
imprisonment for six months.

(2) When any person shall be charged before a
magistrate with an assault or battery upon any male or
child or upon any female, either upon the complaint of the
party aggrieved or otherwise, the said magistrate, if the
assault or battery is of such an aggravated nature that it
cannot in his opinion be sufficiently punished under the
provisions hereinbefore contained as to common assaults
and batteries, may proceed to hear and determine the same
in a summary way, and, if the same be proved, the accused
person shall be liable to imprisonment for six months.

135. (1) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
harm or a wound to any person either with or without any
weapon or instrument shall be liable to imprisonment for
six months.

(2) Whoever negligently and unlawfully causes
harm to any person shall be liable to imprisonment for
three months.

136. If, upon the hearing of any complaint for an
offence under this Title, it appears to the magistrate that,
by reason of a previous conviction or for any other reason,
such offence cannot be adequately punished under this
Title (even if, in the case of a repetition of an offence, the
increased punishment prescribed therefor under Title viii.
of this Code were imposed), the magistrate may deal with
the complaint as if it had been originally one for an
indictable offence.

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 264.

Assault.

13 of 1979, s. 2.
See s. 264.

Indecent, etc.,
assaults.

See ss. 266 and
269.

Causing harm or
a wound.

Negligently
causing harm.
See ss. 267 and
272.

Offences
requiring sterner
punishment.

CH.84 – 110] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

TITLE xi
BROTHELS AND IMMORAL TRAFFIC

137. Whoever —
(1) keeps or manages, or acts, or assists in the

management of a brothel;
(2) being the tenant, lessee, occupier or person in

charge of any premises, knowingly permits such
premises or any part thereof to be used as a
brothel, or for the purposes of habitual prostitu-
tion;

(3) being the lessor or landlord of any premises or
the agent of such lessor or landlord, lets the
same or any part thereof with the knowledge that
such premises or some parts thereof are or is to
be used as a brothel, or is wilfully a party to the
continued use of such premises or any part
thereof as a brothel,

shall be liable —
(a) to a penalty of one hundred and fifty dollars or

in the discretion of the magistrate to imprison-
ment for three months;

(b) on a second or subsequent conviction, to a
penalty of five hundred dollars or in the
discretion of the magistrate to imprisonment for
six months; and in case of a third or subsequent
conviction such person shall be liable to a
penalty of one thousand dollars or, in the
discretion of the magistrate to imprisonment for
twelve months.

In addition to any such penalty or imprisonment as
aforesaid the offender may be required by the magistrate to
enter into a recognisance, with or without sureties, to be of
good behaviour for any period not exceeding twelve
months, and, in default of entering into such recognisance,
he may be imprisoned for three months in addition to any
term of imprisonment awarded in respect of his offence.

138. Whoever —
(1) knowingly lives wholly or in part on the

earnings of prostitution;
(2) in any public place persistently solicits or

importunes for immoral purposes,
shall be liable to imprisonment for six months.

Keeping a
brothel.

Allowing
premises to be
used as a brothel.

Letting premises
to be used as a
brothel.

Penalties.
5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

See ss. 43, 44,
212(13).

Persons trading
in prostitution.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TITLE xii
PETTY THEFTS AND FRAUDS

Stealing
139. Whoever steals anything, the value of which

does not in the opinion of the court exceed five hundred
dollars, such stealing not being accompanied by
housebreaking or burglary, nor amounting to robbery or
extortion, shall be liable to imprisonment for three months.

140. Whoever is convicted of —
(1) any of the undermentioned offences, where the

value of the property alleged to have been stolen
or obtained does not in the opinion of the court
exceed the sum of five hundred dollars, namely,
any of the offences following —
(a) stealing anything of which he had the

custody, control or possession, or to which
he had the means of access, by reason of
any office, employment or service;

(b) stealing from or in any dwelling-house,
shop, manufactory, warehouse, dock, wharf
or quay adjacent to any harbour or port of
entry or discharge, or from, or in any vessel
(not being a vessel in distress or wrecked,
stranded or cast on shore);

(c) stealing from the person;
(d) stealing any cattle;
(e) committing a fraudulent breach of trust; or

(2) any attempt to commit any of the offences
herein referred to; or

(3) any abetment, or conspiracy for the commission
of any of the said offences,

shall, if the offender had not been previously convicted of a
similar offence, be liable to imprisonment for three
months, or to a fine of five hundred dollars, or to both.

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
27 of 1965, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 345.

Stealing.

17 of 1952, s. 2.

Stealing in
special cases.

27 of 1965, s. 2; 5
of 1987, Sch.

See s. 340.

See ss. 347 and
350.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 112] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

141. Whoever is convicted of an offence under
section 140 and has been once previously convicted at any
time of a similar offence shall be liable to the increased
term of imprisonment that may be imposed under the
provisions of this Code for the repetitions of an offence
notwithstanding the provisions of section 140.

142. Whoever steals any cultivated tree, plant, root,
or fruit from the field, garden, building, or other similar
place where the same is grown, or any article of
agricultural produce, shall be liable to imprisonment for six
months for a first offence; and in the case of a second or
subsequent conviction the magistrate may at his discretion
sentence the offender in addition to the increased term of
imprisonment that may be imposed under the provisions of
this Code for the repetition of an offence.

143. (1) Whoever takes possession of anything which
appears to be of some value, and to have been lost by
another person, shall within forty-eight hours, or so soon as
may be reasonably practicable, after taking possession of
it, deliver it to the owner or to a magistrate or peace officer
or other person by law authorised to receive it.

(2) Whoever makes default in obeying the
provisions of this section shall be liable to imprisonment
for one month.

(3) Nothing in this section shall exempt a person
from any liability to punishment as for stealing or receiving,
if he does an act amounting to either of the said offences.

False Pretences and Frauds
144. Whoever fraudulently obtains from any other

person by any false pretence anything the value of which
does not in the opinion of the court exceed five hundred
dollars shall be liable to imprisonment for three months.

145. Whoever does any of the following acts shall be
liable to imprisonment for four months, namely —

(1) transfers to any other person, or accepts from any
other person, any ticket or pass for travelling in
any vessel or on any conveyance, knowing that
such ticket or pass is not transferable;

Punishment for
second
conviction of
stealing in special
cases.

15 of 1936, s. 3.;
11 of 1951, s. 3.

Stealing tree, etc.

Provisions as to
thing found.

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
27 of 1965, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 348.

Fraud by false
pretences.

Fraud as to
ticket, witchcraft,
weights,
measures,
certificates, etc.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 113





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) accepts or offers to accept any money or other
property for or on pretence of using any kind of
witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration,
or art of telling fortunes;

(3) defrauds any person by means of any false
weight or measure, or by any false use of any
weight or measure;

(4) makes, gives or uses any certificate or
testimonial of health, sickness, character,
qualification or competency, knowing the same
to be false in any material particular;

(5) knowingly makes any false return or statement
of any matter as to which he is required by law
to make a return or statement; or

(6) procures a charitable contribution of any kind or
nature under any false or fraudulent pretence.

146. (1) In this section “stamp” means a revenue
stamp and (unless the context otherwise requires) includes
as well a stamp impressed by means of a die as an adhesive
stamp.

(2) Whoever —
(a) fraudulently removes or causes to be removed

from any document an adhesive stamp or affixes
to any other document any such stamp which
has been so removed, with intent that the stamp
may be used again;

(b) sells or offers for sale or utters or affixes any
such stamp which has been so removed;

(c) utters any document having thereon any such
stamp which has to his knowledge been so
removed;

(d) practices or is concerned in any fraudulent act,
contrivance or device not specially provided for,
with intent to defraud the Government of any fee
or duty payable in stamps,

shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars.
(3) Whoever being required by an Act relating to

stamp duties to stamp any document and to cancel the
stamps affixed thereon, wilfully neglects or refuses duly
and effectually to do so in the manner therein provided
shall be liable to a fine of twenty-five dollars.

See s. 232.

Frauds in relation
to revenue
stamps.

See s. 369.

Neglecting to
stamp documents
in lawful form.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 114] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(4) Whoever, upon receiving a sum exceeding ten
dollars, gives a receipt for a sum not exceeding ten dollars
or divides the amount paid into two or more, receipts with
intent to evade the duty shall in every such case be liable
on conviction to a fine of fifty dollars.

(5) All fines imposed under this section shall be
recovered by the Treasurer or some person authorised in
writing by him before a stipendiary and circuit magistrate
or where authorised by fiat of the Attorney-General before
a magistrate of the district in which the offence was
committed.

147. (1) For the purposes of this section —
“agent” includes any person employed by or acting

for another; and a person serving under the
Crown or under any corporation or board is an
agent within the meaning of this section;

“consideration” includes valuable consideration of
any kind;

“principal” includes an employer.
(2) Whoever —
(a) being an agent corruptly accepts or obtains, or

agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, from any
person, for himself or for any other person, any
gift or consideration as an inducement or reward
for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done
or forborne to do, any act in relation to his
principal’s affairs or business or for showing or
forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any
person in relation to his principal’s affairs or
business;

(b) corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers any
gift or consideration to any agent as an
inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to
do or for having done or forborne to do, any act
in relation to his principal’s affairs or business,
or for showing or forbearing to show favour or
disfavour to any person in relation to his
principal’s affairs or business;

(c) knowingly gives to any agent, or being himself
an agent knowingly uses with intent to deceive
his principal, any receipt, account or other docu-


5 of 1987, Sch.

Offences relating
to receipts.

Recovery of
penalties.

Interpretation.

Punishment for
corrupt
transactions with
agents or by
agents.

See s. 354.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 115





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

ment in respect of which the principal is interested,
and which contains any statement which is false or
erroneous or defective in any material particular, and
which to his knowledge is intended to mislead the
principal,

shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment
for four months, or to a fine of five hundred dollars, or to
both such imprisonment and such fine.

(3) A prosecution for an offence under this section
shall not be instituted without the consent of the Attorney-
General.

(4) Where in any proceedings against a person for
an offence under this section it is proved that any money,
gift or other consideration has been paid or given to or
received by a person in the employment of Her Majesty or
any government department of The Bahamas or a public
body by or from a person, or agent of a person, holding or
seeking to obtain a contract from Her Majesty or any
government department of The Bahamas or public body,
the money, gift or consideration shall be deemed to have
been paid or given and received corruptly as an induce-
ment or reward within the meaning of this section unless
the contrary is proved.

(5) Proceedings for an offence under this section
may be commenced at any time before the expiration of six
months after the first discovery of the offence by the
prosecutor.

Receiving and Unlawful Possession
148. (1) Whoever dishonestly receives anything

which he knows to have been obtained or appropriated by
any offence, and the value of which does not exceed five
hundred dollars, shall be liable to imprisonment for four
months.

(2) Whoever is brought before the court charged
with having in his possession or conveying in any manner
anything which is reasonably suspected of having been
stolen or unlawfully obtained, and who does not give an
account, to the satisfaction of the court, as to how he came
by the same, shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars
or to imprisonment for six months.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Prosecution for
offences.

Presumption of
corruption in
certain cases.

Time for taking
proceedings.

Dishonestly
receiving.
17 of 1952, s. 2;
27 of 1965, s. 2;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See ss. 358 and
359.
Accounting for
possession of
thing suspected
of having been
stolen.

29 of 1927, s. 4.;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 64(1).

CH.84 – 116] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

149. (1) Upon any complaint made to the court by
any person claiming to be entitled to the property or
possession of any goods which are being or have been
unlawfully disposed of or detained by any other person, the
value of which shall not be greater than five hundred
dollars, the court may summon the person complained of
and inquire into the title thereto or the possession thereof;
and if it shall appear to the court that such goods have been
detained without just cause after due notice of the claim
made by the person claiming, the court may order the
goods to be returned to the owner thereof uninjured within
a time to be specified in the order, and in default of the
goods being so returned that the complainant be paid such
sum as the court shall determine is the full value thereof
not being greater than five hundred dollars, which sum or
value shall be recoverable by distress and sale of the
defaulter’s goods and chattels.

(2) Whoever neglects or refuses to deliver up such
goods or the value thereof according to such order shall be
liable to imprisonment for one month.

150. If any animal or bird, or the carcase, head, skin,
plumage or any part of any animal or bird is found in the
possession or on the premises of any person with his
knowledge, and if the person does not satisfy the court that
he came lawfully by the animal or bird or carcase, head,
skin or other part of any animal or bird, he shall be liable to
a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars.

151. If the whole or any part of any tree, plant, root
or fruit, or any part of any live or dead fence, or any post,
pale, rail, wire, stile, or gate or any part thereof
respectively, being of the value of twenty cents at least, is
found in the possession or on the premises of any person
with his knowledge, and if the person does not satisfy the
court that he came lawfully by the same, he shall be liable
to a fine of twenty-five dollars.

152. Whoever is found in or upon any warehouse,
shop, store, wharf, quay or landing-place, or on the beach,
or on board of any vessel, having in his possession any
tube, quill, or other instrument for the purpose of
unlawfully obtaining any wine, spirits or other liquors, or
having in his possession any skin, bladder or other material
or utensil for the purpose of unlawfully secreting or
carrying away any wine, spirits, or other liquors, shall be
liable to imprisonment for three months.

Unlawful
detention of
goods under $500
in value.

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
27 of 1965, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Penalty for
disobedience to
order.

Unlawful
possession of
animal or bird or
part thereof.
21 of 1939, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Unlawful
possession of
tree, etc.
5 of 1987, s. 2
and Sch.

Having
possession of
instrument for
unlawfully
obtaining wine,
etc.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 117





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

153. Whoever deals in, buys or sells old junk, old
iron, old copper, old brass, composition, or marine stores
of any description, shall register his name at the office of
the Commissioner of Police and shall conform to the
following regulations (that is to say) —

(1) he shall keep a book fairly written, and shall enter
therein an account of such marine stores as he
may from time to time become possessed of
(except such as he may purchase at public
auction), stating in respect of each article the
month and year when and the person from whom
he purchased or received the same, adding in the
case of every such last-mentioned person a
description of his business and place of abode;

(2) such book shall at all times be open for
inspection by police officers of and above the
rank of inspectors;

(3) he shall not by himself or his agents purchase
marine stores of any description from any person
apparently under sixteen years of age,

and every person who offends against any of the provisions
of this section shall be liable to imprisonment for two
months.

TITLE xiii
COMMON OFFENCES AGAINST

RIGHTS TO PROPERTY
Mischief, etc.

154. (1) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully in any
way commits any trespass upon, damages, spoils or
destroys anything belonging to or in the possession of any
other person or to which any other person has the right of
possession, notwithstanding such thing is not of any
pecuniary or saleable value, or of any value whatever
except to the person to whom it belongs, or in whose
possession it is, or in whom exists the right of possession,
shall be liable to a fine of twenty-five dollars, although no
pecuniary damage to any such thing may be committed by
the person so offending.

Regulations in
respect to
persons dealing
in marine stores
of any description.

28 of 1957, s. 2.

Trespass or
damage although
no pecuniary
damage caused.
See s. 328.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 118] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Whoever unlawfully and maliciously attempts
by any overt act, to commit any one of the crimes
mentioned under Title xxii. of this Code (other than the
crime of arson) may, at the discretion of the magistrate
upon his being satisfied that the accused had not been
previously convicted of any such crime, be prosecuted
summarily for such attempt and, on summary conviction,
shall be liable to imprisonment for six months.

155. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
damage not exceeding twenty-five dollars to any land, or to
any animal or thing in any case not specially provided for
in this Title, shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars or to
imprisonment for three months.

156. (1) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
damage not exceeding twenty-five dollars to any tree,
sapling or shrub growing in any public place or in any
private garden, or pleasure ground, or in any other place,
shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars or to imprisonment
for three months.

(2) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
damage exceeding twenty-five dollars to any tree, sapling
or shrub growing in any public place or in any private
garden or pleasure ground, or in any other place, shall be
liable to a fine of five hundred dollars or to imprisonment
for six months.

(3) For the more effectual detection and punishment
of the illegal cutting and destruction of trees, the master of
every vessel or boat arriving at any port of entry in The
Bahamas, laden either wholly or in part with timber, or
other wood or bark, the growth of these islands shall, in
addition to the report now required by law to be made at
the revenue office of the district, make a special report
showing the authority under which such timber or other
wood or bark had been cut, and the particular locality of
the land from which the same was cut; and shall further
answer all such questions relating to such timber or other
wood or bark, and the cutting and shipment thereof, as
shall be put to him by the officer in charge of the revenue
district at which such vessel shall have so entered; and
every master who shall neglect to make such special report,
or who shall make in any particular an untrue report, or
who shall not truly answer every question which may be
put to him as aforesaid, shall be liable to a fine of one
hundred dollars.

Attempts to
commit certain
crimes in respect
to property.

Damages in cases
not provided for.
17 of 1952, s. 2;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See ss. 328 to
338.

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.

Damage to trees.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Duty of masters
of vessels arriving
at any port of
entry laden
wholly or in part
with timber,
wood, or bark,
the growth of
The Bahamas.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 119





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(3) If any such master shall neglect to make the
report aforesaid, or if the revenue officer in charge at the
port at which any such vessel shall enter, shall not be
satisfied of the truth of the report made by the master of
such vessel, it shall be lawful for such officer to arrest and
detain the vessel and cargo, until he shall be able from
inquiry to satisfy himself that such timber, or other wood
or bark had been cut with the licence or authority given by
or on behalf of the owner of the land on which the same
had been growing; and if any such timber or other wood or
bark shall have been cut without licence or authority, the
master of such vessel shall be deemed to have feloniously
stolen the same, and shall on conviction be liable to be
proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(5) One half of any fine imposed and recovered
under any provision of this section may be paid to the
person or persons on whose information the conviction
shall have taken place.

157. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
damage to any article of agricultural produce or any
cultivated plant shall, if the same is growing in any public
or private garden or pleasure ground or in any building, be
liable to a fine of five hundred dollars or to imprisonment
for six months.

158. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully destroys
or damages any part of any live or dead fence whatsoever,
or any post, pale, rail or wire used as a fence, or any stile or
gate, or any part thereof respectively, shall be liable to a
fine of one hundred dollars.

Squatters and Trespassing
159. (1) When on the hearing of any complaint

against any person for having, without probable claim or
pretence of title, entered upon or taken possession of any
premises in The Bahamas, it shall appear to the magistrate
that the defendant has entered upon or taken possession of
the premises without any probable claim or pretence of
title, the magistrate may make an order directing him to
deliver up to the person named in such order, peaceable
possession of such premises together with all crops
growing thereon, and to remove any animal or movable


Power of revenue
officer in respect to
vessels arriving
with cargo
described in
subsection (3).

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See ss. 142(2),
331.

Damage to
agricultural
produce.

5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 338.

Damage to fence,
etc.

Power of
magistrate.

CH.84 – 120] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

property which the defendant may have placed or have
thereon; and in case the defendant shall not, within
fourteen days after service thereof, comply with the terms
of such order, the magistrate may sentence him to be
imprisoned for a term of fourteen days; and the magistrate
may make a further order for the immediate delivery over
of the possession of such premises to the person named in
the order and for the removal of any animal or movable
property which the defendant may have placed or have
thereon.

(2) If any person against whom an order is made
under subsection (1) of this section obeys such order but
subsequently takes possession of the premises in respect of
which such order was originally made, the magistrate may
sentence the person so offending to be imprisoned for a
term of one month; and may make a further order for the
immediate delivery of the possession of such premises to
the person named in such order.

(3) In case any complaint shall be dismissed, the
magistrate may, if he shall think fit, order the person by
whom the same may have been preferred, whether such
complaint may have been preferred by the Crown Lands
Officer or by any other person, to pay to the person against
whom the same may have been preferred, such sum as the
magistrate may consider to be the amount of costs fairly
incurred by such person by reason of such complaint so
dismissed.

(4) If the premises mentioned or referred to in any
such complaint shall belong to or be vested in the Crown
such complaint shall be preferred by the Crown Lands
Officer, or by some person acting under his authority and
on his behalf; but if the premises shall belong to or be
vested in any person other than the Crown, such complaint
shall be preferred by the owner of such premises or by
some person, who, as general or special agent, attorney,
trustee or otherwise, may be authorised to represent and to
act for and on behalf of such owner, or by some person
who may be authorised by the Supreme Court to prefer
such complaint.

(5) No order for the delivery up of possession of any
premises shall be made by any magistrate if it shall appear to
him that the person against whom any such order is


Penalty for
retaking lands
from which the
person has been
ejected.
5 of 1987, Sch.

In cases of
dismissal of
complaint.

By whom
complaint
preferred.

Proviso in cases
of three years’
quiet possession.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 121





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

sought has by himself or by those under whom he claims
title been in quiet possession of the premises for three
years next before the date of the complaint, or that such
person has any probable claim or pretence of lawful right
to such premises or to the occupation thereof.

(6) No appeal shall lie from any order made under
this section.

(7) For the purpose of any such order made by any
magistrate as aforesaid, the adjudication of such magis-
trate shall be conclusive as to the title of the person to
whom delivery of the said premises may be directed to be
made; but nothing herein contained shall extend to take
away or abridge the jurisdiction by law vested in the
Supreme Court in taking cognisance of, and adjudicating
upon, titles to land: and any person against whom any such
order as aforesaid may have been made, may,
notwithstanding such order, proceed by the ordinary course
of law to recover possession of such premises in case he
shall be able to establish a title thereto, and may also in
such case recover reasonable compensation for the damage
he may have sustained by reason of his having been
compelled to deliver up possession of the said premises;
and in like manner, in case of the dismissal of any such
complaint, the party having preferred the same may
proceed before the ordinary tribunals, as if no such
complaint had been preferred.

160. Whoever —
(1) is found upon any premises without being able

to give a lawful excuse for being there;
(2) enters upon the premises of any other person

against the will and permission of the owner or
occupier of such premises;

(3) unlawfully enters and remains on any such
premises after having been required to depart
therefrom;

(4) having lawfully entered upon any such premises,
misconducts himself by behaving in an
insulting, annoying or threatening manner;

(5) being on any such premises remains thereon after
having been lawfully required to depart there-
from, or returns thereto after being removed
therefrom,

No appeal.

The adjudication
of magistrate to
be conclusive as
to title. Does not
affect jurisdiction
of Supreme
Court.

Penalty for
insulting trespass
on land.

See s. 209(2).

CH.84 – 122] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

shall on the complaint of the owner or occupier of such
premises, be liable to a fine of fifty dollars.

Dogs
161. A magistrate may take cognisance of a

complaint that a dog is dangerous, and not kept under
proper control, and if it appears to the magistrate that such
dog is dangerous he may make an order directing the dog
to be kept by the owner under proper control or destroyed,
and any person failing to comply with such order shall be
liable to a fine of five dollars for every day during which
he fails to comply with such order.

162. (1) Any peace officer may take possession of
any dog that he has reason to suppose to be dangerous or
savage straying on any highway, and not under the control
of any person, and may detain such dog until the owner has
claimed the same, and paid all expenses incurred by reason
of such detention.

(2) When any dog taken in pursuance of this section
has been detained for three clear days without the owner
claiming the same and paying all expenses incurred by the
detention, the chief police officer of the district may cause
such dog to be destroyed.

(3) All dogs detained under this section shall be
properly fed and maintained by the person detaining the
same.

(4) Any peace officer may destroy on sight, or may
cause to be so destroyed, any dog which he finds injuring
any other animal or worrying sheep, goats or poultry.

(5) The provisions of this section shall be in
addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of and
powers conferred by any Act relating to the licensing of
dogs.

163. Whoever suffers to be at large any unmuzzled
ferocious dog, or sets on or urges any dog or other animal
to attack, worry or put in fear any person or animal shall be
liable to a fine of one hundred dollars or to imprisonment
for twenty days.

164. (1) On hearing any complaint in relation to a
dog, a magistrate may order the owner of the dog to pay
compensation in respect of injury done to any animal by


5 of 1987, Sch.

Complaints as to
dangerous dogs.

5 of 1987, Sch.

25 of 1968, s. 2.

Detention and
destruction of
stray dogs and
dogs not under
proper control.

25 of 1968, s. 2.

See Ch. 378.

Penalty for
suffering
ferocious dogs to
be at large.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Compensation
for injuries done
by dog.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 123





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

his dog; and it shall be necessary for the person seeking
such compensation to show a previous mischievous
propensity in the dog, or to show that the injury was
attributable to neglect on the part of the owner.

(2) Where any such injury has been done by a dog,
the occupier of any house or premises where the dog was
kept or permitted to live or remain at the time of the injury
shall be presumed to be the owner of the dog, and shall be
liable for the injury unless he proves that he was not the
owner of the dog at that time:

Provided that where there are more occupiers than
one in any house or premises let in separate apartments, or
lodgings, or otherwise, the occupier of that particular part
of the house or premises in which the dog has been kept or
permitted to live or remain at the time of the injury shall be
presumed to be the owner of the dog.

Injuries to Animals, etc.
165. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully kills,

maims or wounds any cattle, the value of the animal killed,
maimed or wounded not exceeding one hundred dollars or
causes any damage not exceeding five hundred dollars to
any cattle, shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars
or to imprisonment for six months.

166. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully kills,
maims or wounds any animal, not being cattle, which is of
some value, and which is and appears tamed or
domesticated or is in a state of actual confinement, shall be
liable to imprisonment for two months.

167. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully catches,
takes or drives, or attempts to catch, or drive, any cattle
from or out of any pasture, enclosure, stable or other
place, for the purpose of riding it, or of using it in the
carrying of any load or burden or in the drawing of any
cart or carriage, or for the purpose of setting it loose or
driving it about, or for any other unlawful and mischief-
vous purpose, without the consent of the owner or of the
person intrusted with the charge thereof, and without
having any probable claim or pretence of title thereto,
shall be liable to a fine of one hundred dollars.

Presumption as
to ownership of
dog.

Damage to cattle.

Damage to
animal, not being
cattle.

17 of 1952, s. 2.;
5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 332.

Taking and using
cattle, etc.,
without consent
of owner.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 124] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

168. Whoever erases, defaces, obliterates or in any
way alters any brand, or other mark, or puts any false mark
on any animal, with a fraudulent or malicious intent, shall
be liable to a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars and for
any subsequent like offence shall be liable to imprisonment
for six months.

Stray Cattle
169. Whoever suffers or permits any stallion to be at

large in any public way or public burial ground or other
place of public resort, shall be liable to a fine of one
hundred dollars.

170. (1) Whoever permits or suffers any cattle to be
at large in any public way or any uninclosed land or public
burial ground, or tethers or allows to be tethered any cattle
in any public way or any public burial ground, shall be
liable to a fine of two dollars for each animal, and the
burden of proof that the breach of this section was not
wilful shall lie on the person charged with the offence.

(2) The provisions of this section and section 171
shall apply only to New Providence and to the district of
Harbour Island and to Inagua; and shall also apply to any
other place in The Bahamas to which they shall be
extended by order of the Governor-General.

171. (1) A peace officer shall take up and impound
any cattle found at large in contravention of this Code as
soon as he sees or is informed that such cattle is at large:

Provided that if any peace officer is unable to catch
such cattle he shall forthwith report the circumstances
together with the name of the owner of the cattle, if he
knows the same, to the nearest magistrate.

For every breach of this subsection a peace officer
shall be liable to a fine of two dollars.

(2) Any person, whether a peace officer or not, may
take up and impound any cattle found at large in
contravention of this Code.

Altering brand
marks.
5 of 1987. Sch.

Stallions.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Cattle at large in
highways or
burial grounds.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Application of
this section and
of section 171.

Duties of peace
officers.

Report to
magistrate.

Penalty.
5 or 1987, Sch.

Rights of all
persons.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 125





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Pounds
172. For the purposes of sections 173 to 184 —
“expenses” includes the cost of food supplied to any

animal under this part of this Code;
“keeper” means a pound keeper appointed under this

Code and includes the keeper of a pound on
private land;

“land” means and comprises not only land used for
any purpose whatever, but also allotments being
parts or parcels of salt ponds;

“lawful occupier” includes owner, tenant, or care-
taker, and anyone by order of the Government
in or upon any Crown land, and anyone acting
with the written authority of the lawful
occupier;

“owner” means the person having the occupancy or
possession of any land, or the charge or custody
of any cattle;

“pound” means a place authorised to be used as a
pound under section 173.

173. (1) It shall be lawful, in New Providence for a
Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate, and in the Out Islands
for a commissioner within his district —

(a) to authorise the erection, repair and use of
pounds in which animals liable to be impounded
may be kept and detained;

(b) to appoint a keeper to each pound,
and all expenses incurred in the erection and repair of

pounds so erected, repaired or used shall be paid out of the
Consolidated Fund by warrant in the usual manner.

(2) Every keeper shall be entitled to demand and
receive from the owner of an impounded animal —

(a) a poundage fee of fifty cents;
(b) a further fee of twenty-five cents for every day

during which any animal shall remain
impounded after the first day;

(c) the cost of any food supplied to an animal while
impounded.

(3) Pounds may also be erected on private land, in
New Providence with the previous written consent of a
Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate, and in the Out Islands


Interpretation.

Pounds and
pound-keepers
and payment of
expenses by
Consolidated
Fund.

Fees and cost of
feeding animals
impounded.
5 of 1987, Sch.

Pounds on
private lands.

CH.84 – 126] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

with the previous written consent of the commissioner of
the district in which such private land is situate. Such
pounds shall be erected at the expense of the lawful
occupier of such private land, and such lawful occupier or
the person appointed by such lawful occupier may demand
and receive the poundage fees and cost of food here-
inbefore specified; and such lawful occupier or the person
appointed by him shall be the keeper of such pound.

174. The Minister responsible for Agriculture and
Fisheries may make rules from time to time for carrying
into effect the provisions of this Code in relation to pounds.

175. (1) Every keeper shall within forty-eight hours
after the impounding of any animal in his pound give
notice thereof to the nearest magistrate, and for every
neglect to give such notice shall be liable to a fine of two
dollars.

(2) Every animal impounded under this Code shall
be supplied by the keeper with suitable food and water and
for every day of neglect to supply such food and water
such keeper shall be liable to a fine of five dollars in
respect of each animal.

176. All pounds shall be kept in a clean condition by
the keeper when such pounds are situate in the Out Islands
or erected on private land, and when situate in New
Providence and erected under the authority of subsection
(1) of section 173 by the Minister for Works.

177. If any cattle shall stray from the lands of the
owner thereof, or be suffered by such owner to be at large,
and shall enter the land of any other person, the lawful
occupier of such land may seize the animal and impound it
in the nearest pound within twenty-four hours after seizure:

Provided that if there is no pound within five miles of
the place of seizure, the person aggrieved may detain such
animal on his land until satisfaction is made in manner
hereinafter mentioned:

5 of 1987, Sch.

Rules as to
pounds.

Notice by keeper.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Food and water.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Pounds to be
kept clean.

Strays.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 127





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Provided also that any person aggrieved so detaining
any animal on his land shall supply it with suitable food
and water and shall within forty-eight hours after seizure
give notice of such detention to the nearest magistrate and
request such magistrate to investigate and adjudicate.

178. (1) Notice being given to a magistrate of the
impounding either in a pound or on private land of any
animal under this Code such magistrate shall adjudicate on
the case as speedily as possible.

(2) In the following cases the magistrate may order
a sale by public auction of the animal impounded —

(a) where the owner is unknown;
(b) where the owner of the animal does not redeem

it within seventy-two hours after impounding;
(c) where the owner of the animal refuses or

neglects to pay any penalty fees or expenses
imposed or incurred under this Code.

(3) Every such sale shall be fully advertised for at
least three days previous thereto, and the proceeds thereof
shall be applied in discharge of pound fees, expenses and
penalties, the surplus being paid into the Consolidated
Fund in aid of the general revenue:

Provided that if the owner of any animal so sold shall
establish his ownership to the satisfaction of the Treasurer
within one year of such sale or within such further period
as may be allowed by the Governor-General half the
amount so paid into the Consolidated Fund shall be repaid
to such owner.

179. Every animal taken up and impounded under
this Code shall be kept and detained in the pound in which
it was originally placed, or in some other lawful pound
until the penalties payable in respect of its being at large
are paid, or the animal is sold for the liquidation thereof, or
is legally restored to the owner, or is destroyed under the
order of a magistrate as being so diseased or sick or
neglected as to be unfit for use or food.

180. If any person charged with having permitted or
suffered any animal to stray or be at large in contravention
of any provision of this Code, alleges by way of defence
that the animal had been at large without his cognisance


Notice to
magistrate.

Magistrate to
adjudicate.

Sale of animals
unclaimed, etc.

Impounded
animals to be
detained in
original pound.

Servant’s fault.

CH.84 – 128] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

and through the culpable negligence of his servant, the
magistrate may hear evidence in respect thereof and
determine on whom the liability rests and, if he finds that
the same rests on the servant, may adjudge the servant to
pay the penalty and costs and the animal shall be forthwith
restored to the owner without any charge other than any
amount actually expended for food for such animal while
impounded.

181. The owner of any land —
(1) lying within five miles of any pound who shall

keep penned or tied up on such land beyond
forty-eight hours any cattle seized as a stray; and

(2) lying beyond the distance of five miles from a
pound who shall keep penned or tied up any
cattle seized as a stray for a longer period than
forty-eight hours without giving to the nearest
magistrate the notice mentioned in section 178,

shall forfeit to the owner of the cattle the sum of fifty cents
for each animal so penned or tied up:

Provided that for the purposes of this section the
periods during which cattle seized as strays may be penned
or tied up shall be computed clear from any Sunday which
may intervene between the seizure of such strays and the
giving of the notice required by this Code.

182. Whoever releases or attempts to release any
animal lawfully seized from the pound or place where the
same is impounded, or on the way to or from any such
pound or place, or pulls down, damages or destroys the
same or any part thereof, or any lock or bolt or fastener
belonging thereto, or with which the same is fastened, shall
be liable to a fine of one hundred dollars in addition to
paying compensation to the party aggrieved for any
damage so done to the pound.

183. (1) Any person aggrieved by any charge or
demand made for food supplied to any animal impounded
under this Code may appeal to a magistrate who shall
adjudicate thereon in his civil jurisdiction and whose
decision shall be final.

(2) On the hearing of every such appeal the magistrate
may surcharge the account and may reduce the amount
charged to such an amount as he may consider reasonable


Penalty for tying
up strays for
longer time than
authorised.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Unlawfully
releasing
impounded
animals, etc., or
damaging pound.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Dispute as to
food supplied
and charged for.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 129





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

in view of all the circumstances of the case and may order
the repayment of any excess already paid by the person
aggrieved.

184. (1) On the hearing of any complaint with respect
to cattle having entered on any enclosed land, whether
under cultivation or not, without having committed any
particular damage, the magistrate may, on the application
of the lawful occupiers, award compensation by way of
stipulated damages for each animal at the rate of one dollar
for each animal so trespassing; and if such animal shall
remain on the land of the party complaining more than
twenty-four hours, then a further sum of fifty cents per
diem for each animal for each day during which such
animal shall remain on such land.

(2) Whoever trespasses on any land for the purpose
of driving off any animal being thereon shall be liable to a
fine of one hundred dollars; unless he shall have previously
obtained permission from the lawful occupier.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the right
to any civil remedy by any cultivator of land in respect of
particular damage sustained from the trespass of cattle on
his cultivation.

Harbours and Sea-shores
185. Whoever throws any anchors (except such as

may be necessary to anchor any ships) or any ballast, dirt
or rubbish —

(1) into any part of the harbours of New Providence
between the East End of New Providence and
the point commonly called Delaporte Point
west-wardly, and between the West End of Salt
Cay and the entrance of Green Cay eastwardly;

(2) into any harbour or anchoring place in an Out
Island,

shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Recovery of
compensation by
way of stipulated
damages.

Owner
trespassing to
remove cattle.

Civil remedies
unaffected.

Penalty for
throwing dirt,
etc., into
harbours.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 130] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Damage by Fire
186. Whoever, by the careless use of fire, burns,

destroys, injures or damages any of the woods, trees, stacks
of wood, timber, lumber, crops or plantations, whether
standing or cut down, or any other property whatsoever of
any person, shall forfeit and pay a sum of five hundred
dollars which sum shall, in the case of private property, be
paid to the person aggrieved; and in the case of property of
a public nature or wherein any public right is concerned,
such sum shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund in aid of
the general revenue; and if the sum of money, together
with costs (if ordered) shall not be paid immediately after
the conviction, or within such period as the court shall
appoint, the offender shall be liable to imprisonment for six
months.

187. Whoever shall wilfully set fire to anything or by
the negligent use or control of fire, shall burn, destroy,
damage or endanger —

(1) any woods, trees, stacks of wood, timber,
lumber, crops or plantations, whether standing
or cut down;

(2) any house, stable, coach-house, out-house, ware-
house, office, shop, mill, barn, store-house,
granary, hovel, shed or any farm building, or
any building or erection used in farming land or
for any agricultural purpose or for the carrying
on of any trade or manufacture or for any branch
thereof;

(3) any other property of any kind whatsoever,
being the property of any other person and
whether the same shall then be in the possession
of the offender or in the possession of any other
person,

shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
188. Whoever shall commit an offence against the

provisions of section 187 shall be liable on summary
conviction to a penalty of five hundred dollars and in
default of payment may be imprisoned for twelve months.

Penalty for
destroying
property by the
careless use of
fire. Penalty:
how disposed of.
Remedy in
default of
payment.

5 of 1987, Sch.
18 of 1965, Sch.;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

34 of 1926, s. 2.

Damaging and
endangering
property by the
wilful and
negligent use of
fire.

Penalty.
34 of 1926, s. 3
5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 131





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

189. When actual damage has been done to the
property of another person and the offender has been
convicted the magistrate may direct that a portion of the
fine to be paid shall be paid to the person injured as
compensation.

190. When any person who is injured by the commis-
sion of an offence under section 187 receives
compensation for such injury under the order of the court,
the receipt of such compensation shall be a bar to any
action for the same injury; but subject to the provisions of
this section, nothing in sections 187 to 189 contained shall
affect the right of action of any person in respect of any
injury sustained by his property by the commission of an
offence against section 187.

191. (1) Any individual, firm or corporation who in any
part of any town or settlement or any place in the immediate
vicinity thereof keeps or causes to be kept in the yard or in
any other area adjacent to any building any trash, paper,
straw, boxes, wood or other combustible material, in such a
manner as to cause a danger of fire shall be guilty of an
offence under this Act and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars.

(2) No individual, firm or corporation shall be
prosecuted under this Act until either twenty-four hours
after a notice signed by any peace officer has been
delivered by hand to such individual, firm or corporation,
or one week after such notice addressed to such individual,
firm or corporation has been posted by registered post,
requiring such individual, firm or corporation to remove
the trash, paper, straw, boxes, wood or other combustible
material in respect of which such prosecution is instituted;
and no prosecution shall be instituted against any
individual, firm or corporation which complies with such
notice within the period of twenty-four hours or one week,
as the case may be, in respect of the trash, paper, straw,
boxes, wood and other combustible material to which such
notice refers.

False Fire Alarms
192. Whoever by means of any telephone, message or

otherwise maliciously gives or sends a false alarm of fire to
the fire brigade or any member thereof shall be liable on
summary conviction to a penalty of five hundred dollars.

Power of court to
award
compensation.
34 of 1926, s. 4.

34 of 1926, s. 5.

Effect of
acceptance of
compensation.

25 of 1954, s. 2

Stowage of
combustible
material.

5 of 1987. Sch.

33 of 1926, s. 2;
5 of 1987, Sch.

Penalty for
maliciously
giving false fire
alarm.

CH.84 – 132] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

TITLE xiv
PETTY FRAUDS BY FORGERY AND

FALSE COIN
193. Whoever, with intent to defraud any person to

an amount or value which does not in the opinion of the
magistrate exceed five hundred dollars, forges any docu-
ment whatsoever or whoever, with the like intent, has in
his possession any forged document which he knows to be
forged, may, at the discretion of the magistrate upon his
being satisfied that the accused had not been previously
convicted of a similar offence, be prosecuted summarily
for such offence and, on summary conviction, shall be
liable to imprisonment for six months.

194. Whoever without due authority —
(1) makes, issues or sends by post or otherwise any

envelope, wrapper, card, form or paper in
imitation of one issued by or under the authority
of any revenue law or of the postmaster, or of
any foreign or colonial revenual or postal
authority, or having on any postal packets any
words, letters or marks which signify or imply
or may reasonably lead the recipient to believe
that the postal packet bearing them is sent on
The Bahamas Government’s service;

(2) makes on any envelope, wrapper, card, form, or
paper for the purpose of being issued or sent by
post or otherwise, or otherwise used, any mark
in imitation of or similar to or purporting to be
any stamp or mark of any revenue or postal
department of The Bahamas, or under any
foreign or colonial revenual or postal authority,
or any words, letters or marks which signify or
imply, or may reasonably lead the recipient
thereof to believe, that a postal packet bearing
them is sent on The Bahamas Government’s
service;

(3) issues or sends by post or otherwise any
envelope, wrapper, card, form or paper so
marked,

shall be liable to a fine of ten dollars.

Forgery, etc., of a
document for or
under $500 in
value.
17 of 1952, s. 2;
27 of 1965, s. 2;
5 of 1987, Sch.

See ss. 17, 367,
368, 375 and
376.

See s. 369.

Imitation of
revenue or postal
stamps,
envelopes, forms
and marks.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 133





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

195. (1) Whoever —
(a) makes, knowingly utters, deals in, or sells any

fictitious stamp, or knowingly uses for any
revenue or postal purpose any fictitious stamp;

(b) has in his possession, unless he shows a lawful
excuse, any fictitious revenue or postal stamp;

(c) makes, or, unless he shows a lawful excuse, has
in his possession any die, plate, instrument, or
materials for making any fictitious revenue or
postal stamp,

shall be liable, on a prosecution by order of the Treasurer,
to a fine of five hundred dollars.

(2) For the purposes of this section “fictitious
stamp” means any facsimile or imitation or representation,
whether on paper or otherwise, of any stamp for denoting
any rate of revenue duty or postage including any stamp
for denoting a rate of revenue duty or postage of any
country of the Commonwealth, or of any foreign country.

196. Whoever tenders, utters or puts off any of the
gold, silver, copper or cupro-nickel coin current in The
Bahamas which has been defaced by stamping thereon any
name or word, whether the coin has or has not been
thereby diminished or lightened, shall be liable to a fine of
fifteen dollars:

Provided that a prosecution for an offence under this
section shall not be instituted except with the consent of
the Attorney-General.

197. (1) Where any coin is tendered as current gold
or silver coin to any person who suspects it to be
diminished otherwise than by reasonable wearing or to be
counterfeit, it shall be lawful for such person to cut, break,
bend or deface such coin.

(2) If any coin so cut, broken, bent or defaced
appears to be diminished otherwise than by reasonable
wearing or to be counterfeit, the person tendering it shall
bear the loss thereof; but if it is of due weight and appears
to be lawful coin, the person cutting, breaking, bending or
defacing it shall receive it at the rate it was coined for.

Fictitious
revenue stamps.

See ss. 368, 369
and 374.

5 of 1987, Sch.

43 of 1964, Third
Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 375.

Uttering defaced
coin.

5 of 1987, Sch.

16 of 1936, s. 4.

Mode of dealing
with suspected
coin when
tendered in
payment.

CH.84 – 134] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) If any dispute arises whether the coin so cut,
broken, bent or defaced is diminished in manner aforesaid
or counterfeit, the same shall be heard and finally
determined in a summary manner by any magistrate, who
may examine upon oath as well the parties as any other
person in order to determine such dispute.

198. (1) If any person finds or discovers, in any
place, or in the custody or possession of any person having
the same without lawful authority or excuse any false or
counterfeit coin resembling, or apparently intended to
resemble or pass for, any current gold, silver or copper
coin or any coin of any foreign prince, state or country, or
any instrument, tool or engine whatsoever adapted and
intended for the counterfeiting of any such coin, or any
filings or clippings, or any gold or silver bullion, or any
gold or silver in dust, solution or otherwise, which has
been produced or obtained by diminishing or lightening
any current gold or silver coin, the person so finding or
discovering shall seize the same, and carry it forthwith
before some magistrate.

(2) Where any such false or counterfeit coin, or any
such instrument, tool or engine, or any such machine, or
any such filings, clippings or bullion, or any such gold or
silver in dust, solution or otherwise, as aforesaid, is or are
in any case seized and carried before a magistrate, he shall,
if necessary, cause the same to be secured for the purpose
of being produced in evidence against any person who may
be prosecuted for any offence relating to coin; and all such
false and counterfeit coin, and all such instruments, tools
and engines, and all such machines, and all such filings,
clippings and bullion, and all such gold and silver in dust,
solution or otherwise, as aforesaid, after they have been
produced in evidence or when they have been seized and
are not required to be produced in evidence, shall be
forfeited and applied as the court directs.

199. Whoever, without lawful authority or excuse
(the proof whereof shall lie on him) has in his custody or
possession any greater number of pieces than five pieces of
false or counterfeit coin resembling, or apparently intended
to resemble or pass for, any gold or silver coin of any
foreign prince, state or country, or any kind of coin not
being current coin, but resembling, or apparently
intended to resemble or pass for, any copper coin, or any


16 of 1936, s. 5.
See s. 372(2).

Mode of dealing
with counterfeit
coin when
discovered in any
place, etc.

Having
possession of
more than five
pieces of
counterfeit
foreign coin, etc.

16 of 1936, s. 6

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 135





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

other coin made of any metal or mixed metals, of less
value than the silver coin of any foreign prince, state or
country, shall, on being convicted thereof, forfeit all such
false and counterfeit coin (which shall be cut in pieces or
otherwise destroyed by order of any magistrate) and shall,
for every such offence, be liable to a fine of ten dollars for
every such piece of false and counterfeit coin which is
found in his custody or possession.

TITLE xv
COMMON OFFENCES AGAINST
PUBLIC ORDER, HEALTH AND

MORALITY
Drunken, Riotous and Disorderly Conduct

29 of 1927, s. 5; 5 of 1987, Sch.

200. (1) Whoever is found drunk in any public place
shall be liable to a fine of five dollars or imprisonment for
four days.

(2) Whoever is drunk and disorderly or drunk and
incapable in any public place shall be liable on a first
conviction to a fine of fifteen dollars or to imprisonment
for seven days and on a second or subsequent offence to a
fine of fifty dollars or to imprisonment for fourteen days.

201. (1) Whoever is drunk and behaves violently or
indecently in any public place or is drunk on the premises
of any person, to the annoyance or disturbance of that
person or of any inmate of the premises, shall be liable on a
first conviction to a fine of fifteen dollars or to imprison-
ment for seven days and on a second or subsequent offence
to a fine of fifty dollars or to imprisonment for fourteen
days.

(2) Whoever, having been thrice convicted under
the provisions of any law for having been drunk and
behaving violently or indecently, is, within one year from
the first conviction, found drunk in any public place, shall
be liable to imprisonment for three months as an habitual
drunkard.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Intoxicated
persons.
29 of 1927, s. 5;
5 of 1987, Sch.

Drunk and
disorderly.

29 of 1927, s. 5;
5 of 1987, Sch.
5 of 1987, Sch.

Offensive and
habitual
drunkenness.

29 of 1927, s. 6;
5 of 1987, Sch.

ee s. 417.

CH.84 – 136] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

202. (1) Whoever with intent to cause terror to any of
the public, or without lawful cause, carries about his person
any deadly or dangerous instrument shall be liable to
imprisonment for one month; and any such instrument
shall be forfeited.

(2) For the better discovery and punishment of
offences under this section, it shall be the duty of any
peace officer, upon being credibly informed, or otherwise
becoming aware that any person is armed, in contra-
vention of this section, to arrest or cause such person to be
arrested, and to take or cause to be taken, from him, the
deadly or dangerous instrument with which he may be so
armed as aforesaid.

(3) Any punishment imposed under this section
shall be in addition to any other punishment that an
offender may incur under any Act relating to the use and
licensing of firearms.

203. Whoever threatens any other person with un-
lawful harm, with intent to put that person in fear of
unlawful harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for one
month.

204. (1) Whoever, in any public place, or being
unlawfully in any place not public, wantonly does any act
with intent to cause terror to any person, shall, if harm is
thereby caused to any person, or if his act was of such a
character as to be likely to cause harm to any person by
terror, be liable to imprisonment for three months.

(2) For the purposes of this section, harm shall in
this case be deemed to have been caused by the act,
although the harm be the mere inward effect of the terror
caused by the act.

Illustrations

(a) A. goes about the streets, or in a cemetery at night, dressed up in a
white sheet in order to pass for a ghost. If any person is thereby seriously
frightened and made ill or insane, A. is guilty of an offence against this section.

(b) A. lets off a firework in a crowd. Although he may not have
actually purposed to cause harm to any person, yet, if any person is injured by
fright or by the movement of the crowd in consequence of the explosion, A. is
guilty of an offence against this section.

See. s. 417.

Peace officer
may arrest any
person with
deadly weapons.

Unlawfully
carrying arms.

See Ch. 198.

Threat of harm.
See s. 418.

Causing public
terror.

See s. 29(2).

See s. 29(2).

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 137





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



(c) A. wilfully raises a false alarm of fire in a theatre, and a
panic ensues in which a person is injured. A. is guilty of an offence
against this section.

205.Whoever mischievously beats or strikes any
animal which is being led, or on which any person is
riding, with intent to frighten it, or fires off any gun, pistol,
or other kind of firearm or waves or exhibits any flag or
other signal with the intent aforesaid, or mischievously
excites any bull, ox or cow to break loose from any person
leading or conducting it, shall be liable to a fine of twenty-
five dollars.

206. Whoever —
(1) in any public place or in any place within sight

or hearing of persons then being in the
neighbourhood is guilty of any riotous, indecent,
disorderly or insulting behaviour;

(2) in any court or police station or lock-up house,
or in any place of public entertainment, is guilty
of any riotous, indecent, disorderly or insulting
behaviour,

shall be liable to a fine of twenty-five dollars.
207. Whoever —
(1) is guilty of any riotous, disorderly or insulting

behaviour in any place of divine worship,
whether during divine service or at any other
time;

(2) disturbs or molests any person in any place of
divine worship, whether during divine service or
at any other time;

(3) disturbs or molests any minister of religion
while celebrating any religious rite or office in
any public place, or any other person aiding or
attending at the celebration of such rite or office,

shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars.
208. Whoever —
(1) makes use of any violent, scurrilous or highly

abusive term of reproach or other words, or any
obscene language, or sings any offensive or
insulting song or ballad, with intent to provoke
any other person to commit a breach of the
peace;

Mischievously
frightening
animals.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Riotous
behaviour in a
public place.

See s. 439.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Riotous
behaviour at
divine service,
etc.

See s. 212.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Making use of
threatening,
violent or
obscene
language, etc.

CH.84 – 138] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) makes use of any threatening, abusive, insulting,
obscene, or profane language, or sings any
insulting or offensive song or ballad, to the
annoyance of any person in any place;

(3) in any public place, or within hearing of any
person therein sings any profane, indecent or
obscene song or ballad;

(4) writes or draws any profane, indecent or obscene
matter, word, figure or representation upon any
wall, door, window, shutter or other place open
to the public view, or upon any paper or other
material and exposes the same to public view;

(5) sells, or distributes, or offers for sale or distribu-
tion any profane, indecent, or obscene book,
paper, print or representation;

(6) in any public place fights or disturbs the public
peace; or

(7) in any public place makes use of or concerning
any other person any threatening or abusive
language,

shall be liable to a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars.
Idle and Disorderly Persons

209. (1) Whoever —
(a) being able by labour or other lawful means to

maintain himself or herself, or his wife or child,
or her child, where the wife or child is without
other means of support, refuses or neglects so to
do, or wanders abroad, or places himself in any
public place, to beg or gather alms, or causes,
procures or encourages any child so to do;

(b) sleeps or loiters in, upon or under any verandah,
gallery, outhouse, passage, gateway or building
wholly or in part unoccupied, or is found in or
under any cart, carriage or vessel, or on or under
any wharf, quay, jetty, bridge, footway or other
public place, and refuses to leave or remove
therefrom when required or called upon so to do
by any peace officer or by any person in charge
of the wharf, quay, jetty, bridge, footway or
other public place, or is found within any


See s.212(14).
See s. 212(14).

See s. 489.

5 of 1987, Sch.
5 of 1987, Sch.

Idle and
disorderly
persons.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 139





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

enclosed land, without leave of the owner,
occupier, or person in charge thereof, and does
not give a good account of himself;

(c) pretends or professes to tell fortunes; or
(d) plays or bets in any public place at any game or

pretended game of chance, or with any instru-
ment of gaming,

shall be dealt with by a peace officer as an idle and
disorderly person and shall, on conviction, be liable to
imprisonment for one month.

(2) Where any person having no visible means of
support is convicted of trespassing on premises for the
purpose of committing theft, he shall be liable to
imprisonment for six months.

S210. Whoever is found having in his possession
by day any key, picklock, crow, jack, bit or other
instrument of housebreaking, with intent to commit any
indictable offence, shall be liable to three months’
imprisonment; and, on conviction, such instrument shall be
forfeited.
2 of 1938, s. 2

211. (1) If a person secretes himself and goes to sea
in a vessel without the consent of either the owner, master
or of the person in charge of the vessel, or of any other
person entitled to give that consent, he shall be liable to a
fine of one hundred and fifty dollars, or to imprisonment
for a period of one month.

(2) Every person who goes to sea in a vessel
without such consent as aforesaid, shall, so long as he
remains in the vessel, be deemed to belong to the vessel,
and be subject to the same laws and regulations for
preserving discipline, and to the same fines and
punishments for offences constituting or tending to a
breach of discipline, as if he were a member of, and had
signed the agreement with the crew.

Nuisances and Obstructions in the Streets,
and the Like

212. Every person who does any of the following acts
shall, in every case, be liable to a penalty of one hundred and
fifty dollars, that is to say, every person who —
9 of 1927, s. 7.



See s. 160.
See s. 160.
Possession of
housebreaking
instruments in
day-time.

See s. 365.

Stowaways.
2 of 1938, s. 2

5 of 1987, Sch.

Various minor
offences.
5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 140] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(1) in any public place, wilfully or wantonly shouts
or vociferates, or blows any horn or shell, or
beats any drum or other instrument, to the
annoyance or disturbance of any householder, or
sounds or plays upon any musical instrument, or
sings, quarrels or makes any other loud or
unseemly noise near any house after being
required to depart;

(2) throws or discharges any stone or other missile,
to the annoyance, damage or danger of any
person, or, in any public place in any town,
makes any bonfire or sets fire to or throws when
lighted any firework;

(3) being the owner or occupier of premises in any
town or settlement knowingly permits any
disturbance of the public peace by loud shouting
or otherwise in or upon such premises;

(4) in any street or place of public resort, flies any
kite or plays at cricket or any game to the
annoyance or danger of passengers or residents;

(5) in any part of any town or settlement or any
place immediately adjacent thereto, makes or
causes to be made any fire in the yard or other
part of any house or premises, except the
kitchen, whereby the town, or any house or
building, in or near it may be endangered;

(6) in any part of any town or settlement or any
place immediately adjacent thereto, lights, or
causes to be lighted, any fire, or carries any
lighted torch, candle or other lighted thing, or
any fire, through the same, unless secured in a
lantern or some other safe thing in which it may
be conveyed;

(7) wantonly extinguishes the light of or destroys or
interferes or meddles with, any public or street
lamp;

(8) assembles with other persons in any public place,
or in any open space near a public place, for any
idle, vicious or disorderly purpose, or otherwise
than in the regular performance or in pursuance
of some, lawful calling or object, to the
annoyance or obstruction of any passenger or
person


29 of 1927, s. 7.

Shouting or
blowing horn,
etc., in public
place.

Wantonly
discharging
firearm, etc.

Permitting
disturbance.

15 of 1974, s. 11.

29 of 1927, s. 7.

Flying kite or
playing game in
public way.

Making fire in
town elsewhere
than in kitchen.

Lighting or
carrying fire in
town.

Extinguishing or
damaging street
lamp.

Assembling in
public way for
idle, etc. purpose
and not
dispersing when
required.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 141





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

frequenting such public place or any person
living near it, and does not move away when
required by any peace officer;

(9) loiters, carouses or the like in or about any shop,
in any public place, and does not quietly move
away when desired so to do by any peace officer
or by the owner of the shop or his agent;

(10) behaves irreverently near any church, chapel or
other building appropriated for religious worship
during divine service, or behaves irreverently or
indecently in or near any public burial ground
during the burial of a body;

(11) having the custody of any child above the age of
five years, permits it to go naked;

(12) wilfully and indecently exposes his person in
any public place or within view thereof, or in
any place with intent to insult any female;

(13) loiters or wanders about and importunes any
passenger for the purposes of prostitution;

(14) without the consent of the owner or occupier
thereof, affixes any posting-bill or other paper
against or upon any building, wall, fence, pillar,
post or pale, or writes upon, soils, defaces or
marks any building, wall, fence, pillar, post or
pale, with chalk or paint; or in any other way or
with any other material;

(15) being in charge of, and by means of, any cart,
dray, waggon or other vehicle, or by other
means wilfully, or negligently breaks, damages
or destroys any curb-stone, lamp-post, wall or
other public property;

(16) peddles, hawks, sells or exposes for sale any
goods or other articles whatsoever on a highway:

Provided that —
(i) the provisions of this paragraph shall not

apply to persons who shall first obtain a
permit from the Commissioner of Police to
sell vegetables, fish, fruit, victuals, ice, coal,
seeds, roots, or goods or articles the product
of a person’s own manufacture or work, or


Loitering about
shop, etc.

Behaving
irreverently near
church or burial
ground.
See s. 207.

Allowing child to
go naked.

Indecent
exposure of
person.
See s. 490.

See s. 138.

Acting as
common
prostitute.

See s. 208.

Posting bill on
building, etc.,
without consent
of owner or
occupier.

Damage to public
property by user
of vehicle.

11 of 1951, s. 5.

Peddling and
hawking.

CH.84 – 142] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

to persons selling in any public market, or
at public auctions, or to commercial travel-
lers;

(ii) every such permit shall be in such form and
subject to such conditions as the Commis-
sioner of Police may prescribe and may be
cancelled by him in his discretion upon the
breach of any such conditions;

(17) (a) begs for alms, or annoys any person by
importuning, soliciting, or asking for
custom for any purpose whatsoever on
any highway or public place or upon any
private premises, or causes, or procures,
or encourages any child or young person
so to do; or

(b) being a parent or guardian allows any
child or young person for whom he is
responsible to commit any of the offences
hereinbefore in this subsection mentioned;

(18) holds or takes part in any procession in any
public street or place without the previous
written permission of the Commissioner of
Police;

(19) washes any vehicle or motor vehicle in Rawson
Square or in any part of Bay Street which is
within the limits of the City of Nassau as
defined by the Interpretation Act.

213. (1) The Minister responsible for Road Traffic
may from time to time make rules for the prohibition or
restriction in the public places, streets, highways, courts
and alleys in New Providence —

(a) of the firing or throwing of fireworks, crackers
and all other explosives whatsoever;

(b) of the sounding or use of horns, trumpets and all
instruments of sound other than those used or
employed by a duly organised instrumental
band.

(2) All rules made under this section shall be
published in the Gazette and have the force and effect of
law.

13 of 1929, s. 2.
Begging.

Processions.

Car washing.

Ch. 2.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Further as to
prohibition of
noises.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 143





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(3) Whoever commits any breach of any rule made
under this section shall be liable to a fine of one hundred
and fifty dollars.

(4) Rules made under this section shall be in
addition to the offences prescribed in rules made under the
authority of this or any other Act; but so that a person be
not punished twice for the same offence.

Trading on Sunday, etc.
214. (1) Whoever sells or causes or procures to be

sold, or exposes for sale or causes or procures to be
exposed for sale, any goods or other articles whatsoever on
any Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday, shall, in
respect of each act of sale or exposure for sale, be liable to
a fine of ten dollars.

(2) The provisions of this section shall only apply to
such islands, towns, settlements or places as the Governor-
General may by Order direct.

215. There shall be excepted from the operation of
section 214 —

(1) the sale of drugs or medicines;
(2) the sale of ice;
(3) the sale of fresh fish, butchers’ meat or fresh

fruit, not later than noon;
(4) the sale of bread or milk;
(5) the sale of cooked food in hotels, inns or

taverns;
(6) the sale of any article required for the burial of a

dead body, or in case of illness of any person or
animal, where the seller thereof has reasonable
grounds for believing the article to be required
for either of those purposes; the reasonableness
whereof is to be determined by the magistrate
before whom the complaint is heard;

(7) the sale of petroleum products;
(8) the sale of fresh water.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Prohibition of
selling of goods
on Sunday and
other specified
days.

5 of 1987, Sch.

29 of 1927, s. 8.

Exemptions from
operation of
section 214.

29 of 1927, s. 2.

29 of 1927, s. 2.

CH.84 – 144] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Offences Against Sanitation
216. Whoever throws or causes to be thrown, into

any harbour or other waters adjacent to any town or
settlement within The Bahamas, any putrid hides or the
carcases of any dead animal or other putrescent substance,
shall be liable to a fine of one hundred dollars for each
offence.

217. Whoever causes or suffers to be brought or to
flow into any stream, well, tank, reservoir or place used or
intended for supply water to a main, or into any conduit
communicating therewith, any substance, or does any act,
whereby the water therein, or which may enter therein,
may be fouled, shall be liable to a fine of one hundred
dollars, and to a further fine of ten dollars for every day
during which the offence is continued after conviction.
5 o

218. Whoever within the limits of any town or
settlement within The Bahamas, or the suburbs thereof,
lays out to air or dry or otherwise exposes whether for sale
or otherwise, any green or putrid hides or any putrid meat,
fish or other substance, or keeps any such offensive
substance in any place whatever, to the annoyance of the
persons residing in the neighbourhood, shall be liable to a
fine of twenty-five dollars for each offence.

219. Whoever throws or places or causes to be
thrown or placed upon any part of any public thoroughfare
in any town or settlement within The Bahamas any
soapsuds, pickle or other liquid or solid substance of an
impure or otherwise offensive description not coming
within the description of substances referred to in section
218, shall be liable to a fine of five dollars for every
offence.

220. Upon conviction under sections 216 to 219, the
magistrate may order the nuisance complained of, if
continuing at the time of conviction, to be abated and the
offensive substance constituting the nuisance to be
destroyed or removed, and to issue all necessary orders and
warrants for the purpose; and all expenses incurred in
carrying out such order shall be borne by the person or
persons convicted of any offence in connection therewith,
as aforesaid, and be recoverable in the same manner as any
fine imposed under this Code.

Throwing putrid
substances into
any water near a
town.

Fouling drinking
water.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.
See s. 494(d).

Keeping putrid
substances.

Placing any
impurity in a
thoroughfare.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Order of
abatement.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 145





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS



221. The provisions of sections 216 to 220 shall be in
addition to the provisions concerning offences declared
punishable under the Health Services Act or any other Act
providing for securing the public health; but so that a
person is not twice punished for the same act or matter.

222. (1) Whoever inters or causes or procures to be
interred the body of any deceased person —

(a) in any place within any town or settlement or the
suburbs thereof in which, or within two miles
whereof, there is any parochial or other public
burial ground or any public ground set apart by
any religious society or congregation, except in
such parochial or other burial ground as
aforesaid;

(b) in any grave which shall be less than four feet in
depth below the level or surface of the ground,

shall be liable to a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars:
Provided that this subsection shall not apply to a

burial ground of the Order or Society of Love and Charity
or of any Society established under the Friendly Societies
Act and to the interment therein of any deceased member
or the deceased relatives of any member of any such
society, but then only (a) if the site selected for such burial
ground has been approved by the Minister for Health; (b) if
each grave is of the depth herein before specified; and (c) if
the burials in such burial grounds conform with all rules
governing interments in public burial grounds. Burial
grounds coming within the meaning of this proviso which
have been in use without approval shall be deemed to have
been established under the authority of this proviso and
may continue to be used until closed under the provisions
of subsection (2) of this section.

(2) It shall be lawful for the Minister responsible for
Public Health whenever occasion thereof shall arise, by
Order to prohibit the use of any particular burial ground as
a place of interment; and every such Order so issued shall
remain in force until the same shall be revoked by the said
Minister.

Ch. 231.

Saving for
Health Services
Act.

Burial in places
other than public
cemeteries, etc.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Friendly
Societies may
acquire burial
ground.
Ch. 312.

5 of 1987, Sch.

15 of 1936, s. 4.

Power to close
burial grounds.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

CH.84 – 146] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Whoever during the continuance in force of any
such Order so issued, inters, or causes or procures to be
interred, the body of any deceased person in any burial
ground referred to in such Order, shall be liable to
imprisonment for three months.

(4) One half of any fine imposed and recovered
under any provision of this section may be paid to the
person who shall give information leading to the
conviction of the offender or offenders.

Cruelty to Animals
223. Whoever cruelly beats, ill-treats, starves, over-

rides, overdrives, overloads, abuses, tortures or otherwise
maltreats an animal of any species whatever whether wild
or domesticated, and whether a quadruped or not, shall be
guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of one
hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three
months.

224. Whoever rides or works, or knowingly causes to
be ridden or worked, any animal in such a condition as to
be unfit for work, whether from emaciation or from any
gall or sore or otherwise, and whether that condition is
caused by disease or deficient feeding or otherwise, shall
be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of one
hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three
months.

225. Whoever conveys, or carries or causes to be
conveyed or carried, or places or causes to be placed in or
upon any vehicle, or in or upon any vessel, any animal or
bird in such a manner or position as to subject such animal
or bird to unnecessary pain or suffering shall be guilty of
an offence and shall be liable to a fine of one hundred and
fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three months.

226. Whoever tethers or ties up, or causes to be
tethered or tied up, any animal or bird, and negligently
suffers the same to remain so tethered or tied up without a
proper supply of food or water, whereby such animal or
bird is put to unnecessary pain or suffering shall be guilty
of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of one hundred
and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three months.
25 of 1954, s. 2.

Penalty for
infringing closing
order.

Disposition of
fines.

Ill-treatment of
animals.

25 of 1954, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Working animal
unfit for work.
25 of 1954, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Causing
unnecessary pain
to animal in
transit.
25 of 1954, s. 2.

25 of 1954, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Tying up animal
without
supplying it with
food.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 147





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

227. Whoever exposes or offers for sale, or causes to
be exposed or offered for sale, any feathered stock in the
condition known as crammed or stuffed, or having any
foreign substance such as lead, iron or stone, or other
material in its crop, shall be guilty of an offence and shall
be liable to a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars or to
imprisonment for three months.

228. (1) Whoever —
(a) in any manner encourages or assists at the

fighting or baiting of any bull, dog, cock or
other animal or bird, whether domestic or wild;

(b) keeps, or uses, or acts in the management of, any
place used for the purpose of fighting or baiting
any such animal or bird as aforesaid;

(c) allows any place to be so used,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine of
one hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three
months.

(2) Whoever receives money for the admission of
any other person to any place kept, or used for any of the
purposes aforesaid, shall, unless the contrary is proved, be
deemed to be the keeper thereof.

229. (1) Any magistrate, by warrant, may authorise
any peace officer to enter any place used, or suspected as
being used, for the purpose of fighting or baiting any
animal or bird, and to take into custody all persons, and to
seize all animals or birds found therein.

(2) Whoever is so found therein, without lawful
excuse, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a
fine of one hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for
three months, and every animal or bird seized shall be
forfeited.

230. Whoever tortures, or causes unnecessary suffer-
ing to any animal or bird which is required to be killed for
food or for any other necessary purpose, or in consequence
of accidental injury or incurable disease, shall be guilty of
an offence and shall be liable to a fine of one hundred and
fifty dollars or to imprisonment for three months.

25 of 1954, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Cramming
feathered stock.

Bull-baiting and
similar practices.

25 of 1954, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Entry under
warrant into
places used for
fighting or
baiting animals.
25 of 1954, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Torturing
animals required
to be killed for
food.
25 of 1954, s. 2.
5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 148] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

231. (1) Every complaint under any of sections 223 to
230 shall be made within three calendar months after the
cause of such complaint shall arise.

Power to order delivery of animal to an approved
society and provision for upkeep.

(2) Where any person is convicted of an offence
under the provisions of any of the sections mentioned in
subsection (1) hereof the court may, in its discretion —

(a) order that such animal or bird be delivered into
the care of any society for the prevention of
cruelty to animals approved by the Minister
responsible for Agriculture for treatment if any
such society is willing to receive it; and

(b) deduct such sum as it thinks fit from any fine
imposed (but not exceeding one moiety), and
order that sum to be paid to any such society in
full or part payment for the upkeep of such
animal or bird during treatment.

(3) The provisions of this section shall apply to New
Providence only:

Provided that the Minister responsible for Agriculture
may by Order extend such provisions or any portion thereof
to any Out Island district.

Practising Obeah, etc.
232. Whoever practises obeah, or by an occult means

or any assumption of supernatural power or knowledge
intimidates or attempts to intimidate any person, or obtains
or endeavours to obtain anything from any person, or
pretends to discover any lost or stolen thing or the person
who stole the same, or to inflict any disease, loss, damage
or personal injury upon any person, or to restore any
person to health, shall be liable to imprisonment for three
months.

233. (1) If it is made to appear, upon the oath of any
credible witness, that there is reasonable cause to suspect
that any person is in possession of any article or thing used,
or intended to be used, by him in the practice of obeah or
such other practice as is mentioned in section 232, it shall
be lawful for any justice of the peace, by warrant to cause
any place whatever belonging to or under the control


25 of 1954, s. 2.

Time in which
complaint may
be made.

7 of 1934, s. 2.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Practising obeah
or other
superstitious
devices.

See s. 145(2).

Seizure, under
warrant, of
article used in
practice of
obeah.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 149





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

of the person to be searched, either in the day or in the
night, and, if any such article or thing is found in any place
so searched, to cause it to be seized and brought before him
to be secured for the purpose of being produced in
evidence in any case in which it may be required.

(2) Where any such article or thing is found as
aforesaid, the person in whose possession the article or
thing is found shall, unless and until the contrary is proved,
be deemed to be a person practising obeah within the
meaning of the said section, at the time at which the article
or thing was so found.

234. If, on the hearing of any case before any court,
the court has reasonable cause to suspect that the accused
or any witness in the case then in court has concealed about
him an instrument of obeah, the court may direct the police
forthwith to search the suspected person without a written
warrant, and if any instrument of obeah is found upon him,
he shall be liable to a fine of twenty-five dollars.

TITLE xvi
COMMON OFFENCES RELATING TO

THE PUBLIC SERVICE
235. If any public officer who is bound as such

officer to pay or account for any moneys or valuable
things, or to produce or give up any documents or other
things, fails to pay or account for, or to produce or give up,
the same according to his duty to any other officer or
person lawfully demanding the same, he shall (without
prejudice to his liability in any civil proceeding, or to his
liability as for any offence punishable under any other Title
of this Code) be liable to imprisonment for three months:

Provided that if a public officer is summarily
adjudged to be imprisoned under the provisions of this
section, he shall be discharged upon his satisfying the court
before which he was convicted, or any court of similar
jurisdiction, that he has since his conviction performed the
duty for default in performance of which he was adjudged
to be imprisoned.

Searching of
persons
suspected of
having
instrument of
obeah in court.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Withholding of
public money,
etc., by public
officer.

CH.84 – 150] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

236. Whoever, not being a member of the police
force —

(1) has in his possession any arms, ammunition,
clothing, accoutrements or appointments supplied to any
member of the force and is not able satisfactorily to
account for his possession thereof;

(2) puts on, or assumes the dress, designation,
name, or description of any member of the
police force for the purpose of unduly obtaining
admission to any house or other place, or of
doing or procuring to be done any other act
which such person so putting on or assuming
such dress, designation or name or description,
would not by law be entitled to do or procure to
be done of his own authority,

shall, in addition to any other punishment to which he may
be liable, be liable to a fine of fifty dollars.

237. Whoever is convicted of —
(1) smuggling any goods, or landing or attempting

to land any goods without having first obtained
the permission in writing of the chief or other
proper officer of the Customs Department of the
district within which such goods are landed or
attempted to be landed;

(2) receiving or harbouring such goods knowing
that they have been smuggled or landed within
The Bahamas;

(3) inducing or attempting to induce or directing or
soliciting any other person to smuggle or to
bring into or land at any place within The
Bahamas any goods without paying the duties of
customs which may be payable by law,

shall be liable to a fine of one thousand dollars, and in
default of payment to be imprisoned for nine months.

238. The provisions of section 237 shall be in
addition to the several provisions, concerning such
penalties and forfeitures as may be imposed for offences
against the laws relating to the Customs Department of The
Bahamas.

Unlawfully
having
possession of
police arms, etc.,
or assuming
dress, etc.

See s. 245.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Smuggling.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Saving all laws
relating to the
Customs.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 151





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

239. (1) Whoever —
(a) wilfully assaults, obstructs or interferes with any

officer of the magistrate’s court in attendance
thereat in the performance of his duty at the
court;

(b) within the room or place where the magistrate is
sitting wilfully misbehaves in a violent, threaten-
ing, obstructive, or disrespectful manner;

(c) wilfully insults the magistrate or any officer of
the court during his sitting or attendance in
court,

shall be liable to be immediately apprehended by order of
the magistrate, and if the court is then sitting or about to sit
to be detained until the rising of the court, and on enquiry
and consideration then and there and without further trial to
be punished for every such offence with a fine of one
hundred dollars, or with imprisonment for ten days, in the
discretion of the magistrate.

(2) Where any person is punished under this section
the magistrate shall make and keep a minute recording the
facts of the case and the extent of the punishment, and shall
forthwith send a copy of such minute to the Judicial and
Legal Service Commission.

240. Whoever being charged with the execution of a
warrant of distress or a writ of execution, wilfully retains
from the produce of any goods sold to satisfy the same, or
otherwise exacts any greater costs and charges than those
to which he is for the time being entitled by law, or makes
any improper charge, shall be liable to a fine of five
hundred dollars in addition to his liability to repay to the
proper person the amount so exacted or improperly
charged as aforesaid.

241. (1) Whoever, without reasonable excuse, makes
default in obeying any summons, process or order lawfully
issued or made by any court for his attendance or for his
examination on oath as a witness in any judicial
proceeding, or for the production by him of any written or
other evidence in any judicial proceeding, shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten days, unless he in the meantime
obeys the order of the court, or he may be summarily
punished by a fine of ten dollars.

Power to
preserve order in
court.

See ss. 206(2),
420 and 440.

See ss. 206(2),
420 and 440.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Minute to be
recorded.
G.N. 172/1964.

Penalty for
extortion, etc.

See s. 453. See s. 453.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Disobedience to
summons as
witness.

See s. 436.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 152] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) If any person attending as a witness or so
summoned or brought up on a warrant as aforesaid refuses
to be examined on oath concerning the premises or refuses
to take such oath, or having taken oath refuses to answer
any lawful question put to him, without giving just excuse
for so doing, the magistrate may by warrant commit such
person to prison there to remain and be imprisoned for ten
days unless he in the meantime consents to be examined
and to answer concerning the premises, or the magistrate
may order him to pay a fine of twenty-five dollars.
See ss. 356 and 357.

242. Whoever, knowing that any execution, warrant
or other process of law has been awarded or issued for the
seizure of anything belonging to him or in his possession,
custody or control, removes, conceals or in any manner
disposes of the thing with intent to defeat or evade the
execution, warrant or other process, shall be liable to
imprisonment for three months.

243. Whoever, with intent to defeat, obstruct or
pervert the course of justice or the due execution of the
law, or to evade the requirements of the law, or to defraud
or injure any person, endeavours to deceive any public
officer, acting in the execution of any public office or duty,
by personation, or by any false instrument, document, seal
or signature, or by any false statement, whether verbal or in
writing, shall be liable to imprisonment for three months.

244. Where a person causes wasteful employment of
the police by knowingly making to any person a false
report tending to show that an offence has been committed
or to give rise to an apprehension for the safety of any
persons or property or tending to show that he has
information relevant to any police inquiry, he shall be
liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding
five hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprison-
ment.

Se245. Whoever pretends to be or acts as a public
officer or juror, not being lawfully authorised to act as such
officer or juror, and in or under colour of such assumed
character does or attempts to procure any person to do or


5 of 1987, Sch.

13 of 1929, s. 2.

Removing goods
to evade legal
process.

See ss. 356 and
357.

Deceit of public
officer.
See ss. 427 and
432.

Making false
report.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Falsely
pretending to be
public officer,
etc.
See ss. 236 and
451.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 153





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

abstain from doing any act whatsoever, shall be liable to
imprisonment for three months, unless he shows either —

(1) that he so pretended or acted under a mistake of
law or of fact; or

(2) in the case of a person acting as a public officer
that he so acted in good faith for the public
benefit.

246. Whoever being lawfully commanded by any
public officer, peace officer or other person to give aid for
the prevention of crime, or for arresting any person, or for
preventing the rescue or escape of any person, refuses or
neglects to give such aid according to his ability, shall be
liable to a fine of fifty dollars.

247. Whoever assaults, molests, obstructs or resists,
aids or incites any other person to assault, molest, obstruct
or resist any public or peace officer, or any person
employed by a public or peace officer, acting or
proceeding to act in the execution of any public office or
duty or in the execution of any warrant or legal process,
shall be liable to imprisonment for six months

248. Whoever —
(1) knowingly harbours, entertains or permits to

abide and remain in or upon his house, shop or
premises, or other place any member of the
police force during any part of the time
appointed for his being on duty;

(2) by any means whatsoever directly or indirectly
procures or persuades or attempts to procure or
persuade any member of the police force, to
desert, or aids, abets, or is in any way accessory
to the desertion of any member of the force, or
having reason to believe that any man is a
deserter from the force, harbours such deserter
or aids him in concealing himself;

(3) aids, abets, or is accessory to any mutinous
conduct, sedition, or disobedience to the lawful
command of a superior officer by any member
of the force, or endeavours to seduce any
member of the force from his allegiance or duty,

shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars.

Refusal or
neglect to aid in
prevention of
crime.
5 of 1987, Sch.
See ss. 88 and
447.

Assault, etc., of
public officer.
13 of 1929, s. 2.
See ss. 265, 420
and 422.

Harbouring
peace officers on
duty, etc.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 154] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

249. Whoever, without authority from the person in
charge of any prison or lock-up, conveys anything into or
out of any such prison or lock-up, or delivers to or receives
from a prisoner in any such prison or lock-up anything
whatsoever, shall be liable to imprisonment for three
months.

250. Whoever aids the escape of any prisoner from
any prison or from the custody of any person in charge of
such prisoner shall be liable to imprisonment for six
months.

251. Whoever in any manner interferes with any
convicted prisoner without the precincts of the prison, or
delivers to or receives from him anything whatever, or
permits him to enter his house, yard or premises, unless by
the request of the prison officer or person in charge of the
prisoner, or assists him to absent himself or to neglect his
work, shall be liable to imprisonment for three months.

252. If any prison officer or person in charge of any
convicted prisoner, knowingly permits him to receive any
tobacco, spirits, food, money or any other thing which the
prisoner is not permitted by the prison regulations to
receive, or to enter any house, yard or premises, not being
the place appointed for the labour of the prisoner, he shall
be liable to imprisonment for three months.

253. (1) Whoever wilfully obstructs, or incites
anyone to obstruct an officer of the post office in the
execution of his duty, or whilst in any post office or within
any premises belonging to any post office or used
therewith, obstructs the course of business of the post
office, shall be liable to a fine of ten dollars.

(2) Any officer of the post office may require any
person guilty of any offence under this section, to leave a
post office, or any such premises as aforesaid, and,
whoever, being so required, refuses or fails to comply with
the requirement shall be liable to a further fine of twenty-
five dollars, and may be removed by any officer of the post
office; and all peace officers are required on demand to
remove or assist in removing every such person.

Taking
prohibited things
into or out of
prison, etc.

Aiding escape of
prisoner.
See ss. 444, 445
and 448.

Interference with
prisoner outside
prison.

Prison officers
accessory to
breaches of
discipline.

Obstruction of
officers of post
office.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 155





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

254. (1) Whoever sends or attempts to send a postal
packet which either —

(a) encloses any explosive substance, any dangerous
substance, any filth, any noxious or deleterious
substance, any sharp instrument not properly
protected, or any article or thing whatsoever
which is likely to injure either other postal
packets in course of conveyance or an officer of
the post office;

(b) encloses any indecent or obscene print, painting,
photograph, lithograph, engraving, book or card,
or any indecent or obscene article, whether
similar to the above or not;

(c) has on the packet or on the cover thereof, any
words, marks or designs of an indecent, obscene
or grossly offensive character,

shall be liable to a fine of fifty dollars.
(2) The detention in the post office of any postal

packet on the ground of its being in contravention of this
section shall not exempt the sender thereof from any
proceedings which might have been taken if the packet had
been delivered in due course of post.

255. Whoever, being employed to convey or deliver a
mail bag, or a postal packet in course of transmission by
post —

(1) whilst so employed, or whilst the mail bag or
postal packet is in his custody or possession,
leaves it;

(2) is guilty of any act of drunkenness whilst so
employed;

(3) is guilty of carelessness, negligence or other
misconduct, whereby the safety of the mail bag
or postal packet is endangered;

(4) without authority collects or receives or conveys
or delivers a postal packet otherwise than in the
ordinary course of post;

(5) gives any false information of an assault or
attempt at robbery upon him;

Sending by post
explosive,
inflammable or
deleterious
substances or
indecent prints,
words, etc.
See s. 495.

See s. 489.
See s. 489.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Carelessness,
negligence, or
misconduct of
persons
employed in
carrying or
delivering mail
bags, postal
packets, etc.

See ss. 335, 342
and 456.

See ss. 335, 342
an 456.

CH.84 – 156] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(6) loiters on the road or passage, or wilfully
misspends his time so as to retard the progress
or delay the arrival of a mail bag or postal
packet in the course of transmission by post, or
does not use due care and diligence safely to
convey a mail bag or postal packet at the due
rate of speed,

shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars.
256. Whoever unlawfully or maliciously in any

manner whatsoever, prevents or obstructs the sending,
conveying or delivery, of any telegraphic communication,
shall be liable to imprisonment for six months.

257. Whoever votes or offers to vote at any public
election at which he knows that he is not entitled so to
vote, or in respect of a qualification in respect of which he
knows that he is not entitled so to vote, shall be liable to
imprisonment for three months.

258. Whoever, by any overt act, attempts to commit
any offence declared to be a misdemeanour under Title
xxix. of this Code may, at the discretion of the magistrate,
be prosecuted summarily and on summary conviction, shall
be liable to imprisonment for six months.

259. Whoever makes any complaint for any summary
offence alleged to have been committed by some other
person, and afterwards, directly or indirectly, and without
the permission of the court by which the complaint was to
be heard and determined or without the leave of some
public authority empowered by law to grant such leave,
receives any sum of money or other reward for
compounding, delaying or withdrawing the complaint,
shall be liable to a fine of five hundred dollars.

260. Whoever obtains any sum of money or other
reward from any person by threatening, directly or
indirectly, to make a complaint before a magistrate for any
summary offence when no grounds exist for the complaint,
or as an inducement to forbear to make the complaint, shall
be liable to imprisonment for six months.

261. Whoever accepts, or agrees or offers to accept,
any reward under pretence or on account of restoring to
any person, or of helping any person to recover, anything
which has been appropriated by any offence punishable


5 of 1987, Sch. 5 of 1987, Sch.

Obstruction of
telegraphic
service.

See s. 460.

See s. 460.

Unlawful voting
at election.
See s. 452.

Attempts to
commit
misdemeanour
against
provisions of
Title xxix.

Compounding
offence.

5 of 1987, Sch.

See s. 449.

Obtaining money
by threat of
making
complaint for
summary
offence.
See s. 346.

Corruptly
accepting reward
for restoring
property, etc.

See s. 66.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 157





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

under Titles xii. or xxiii. or xxiv. of this Code, upon the
terms or with the understanding that the offence shall be
compounded, shall be liable to imprisonment for six
months.

BOOK III
INDICTABLE OFFENCES

TITLE xvii
INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

262. Where a person is charged before a magistrate
with an indictable offence under this Code or any statute,
and it appears to the magistrate that such charge could have
been laid as for a summary offence under any provisions
contained in Book II of this Code —

(1) the magistrate may, for the purpose of ascertain-
ing whether it is expedient for the ends of justice
to deal with the case summarily, adjourn the
proceedings at any stage and may from time to
time remand the accused for any period not
exceeding eight days;

(2) the procedure shall until the magistrate assumes
the power to deal with such offence summarily
be the same in all respects as if the offence were
to be dealt with throughout as an indictable
offence, but when and so soon as the magistrate
assumes the power to deal with such offence
summarily the procedure shall be the same from
and after that moment as if the charge had been
originally one for the summary offence specified
in Book II of this Code;

(3) the evidence of any witness taken before the
magistrate assuming such power as aforesaid,
need not be taken again; but every such witness
shall, if the defendant so require it, be recalled
for purposes of cross-examination;

(4) where the magistrate has assumed the power to
deal with the case summarily and shall dismiss the
charge, he shall, if so required, deliver to the
person charged a copy certified under his hand of
the order of dismissal, and such dismissal shall


See s. 66.

Charges capable
of being dealt
with summarily.

CH.84 – 158] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(subject to any decision of the Supreme Court on
appeal) be of the same effect as an acquittal on a
trial for the offence on information at the
sessions.

263. (1) Where a child or young person is accused of
any indictable offence other than homicide, the magistrate
may at any time during the hearing of the case cause the
charge to be reduced into writing and read to the parent or
guardian of the accused, and he shall then question such
parent or guardian to the following effect:

“Do you desire this case to be tried at the sessions, or do you wish
it to be dealt with summarily?”

and shall add a statement, if necessary, to such parent or
guardian explaining the meaning of the case being dealt
with summarily and of being tried at the sessions. And if
such parent or guardian as aforesaid does not object to the
case being dealt with summarily the magistrate may deal
with it summarily.

(2) Where the parent or guardian of such child or
young person is not present when the charge is being heard
by the magistrate, the magistrate may adjourn the case for
the purpose of causing notice to be served on such parent
or guardian, with a view as far as practicable of securing
his attendance at the hearing of the charge, or the
magistrate may deal with the case summarily.

(3) Upon a summary conviction under this section,
any of such punishments may be imposed as can be
inflicted by a magistrate upon a child or juvenile offender
in accordance with the provisions of Title viii. of this
Code.

(4) Every conviction of a child or young person
under this section shall contain a statement of the consent
(if any) of the parent or guardian to such summary
proceeding.

(5) This section shall be construed subject to the
provisions of the Children and Young Persons (Adminis-
tration of Justice) Act.

When a young
person may be
tried summarily
on indictable
charge.

Power to remand
in order to secure
the presence of
parent or
guardian.

Punishment on
conviction.

1 of 1957, s. 6.

Ch. 97.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 159





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TITLE xviii
ASSAULT AND SIMILAR OFFENCES

Assault
264. Whoever unlawfully assaults any person is guilty

of a misdemeanour.
265. Whoever is convicted of an unlawful assault of

any of the following kinds, namely —
(1) assault upon a person acting as a judicial officer

or as a peace officer;
(2) assault upon a minister of religion acting in the

execution of the duties of his office;
(3) assault upon a person in any court of justice, or

assault upon a person in order to prevent him
from doing, or on account of his doing or
having, done anything as a party, agent, counsel
or witness in any judicial proceedings;

(4) assault with a purpose to commit, or in commit-
ting or attempting to commit, any other crime;

(5) assault with any deadly or dangerous instrument
or means,

shall be liable to imprisonment for three years.
Criminal Harm to the Person

266. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
harm to any person shall be liable to imprisonment for one
year.

267. Whoever negligently and unlawfully causes
harm to any person shall be liable to imprisonment for nine
months.

268. Whoever unlawfully exposes or abandons any
child, under seven years of age, in such a manner that any
grievous harm is likely to be caused to it, shall be liable to
imprisonment for seven years.

269. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes a
wound to any person shall be liable to imprisonment for
three years.

Assault.
See s. 133.

Aggravated
assault.

See ss. 247, 420
and 422.

Causing harm.
See s. 135(1).

Negligently
causing harm.
See ss. 135(2)
and 281

Exposing child to
grievous harm.

22 of 1931, s. 2;
12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.
See s. 135(1).

Causing wound.







CH.84 – 160] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

270. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
grievous harm to any person shall be liable to imprison-
ment for seven years.

271. Whoever negligently and unlawfully causes
grievous harm to any person shall be liable to imprison-
ment for eighteen months.

272. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes a
maim or any dangerous harm to any person shall be liable
to imprisonment for twenty years.

273. Whosoever uses any poison, or any explosive,
corrosive, deadly, destructive or noxious means, or any
instrument shall —

(1) if he does so with intent unlawfully to cause
harm to, or injure, aggrieve or annoy any person,
be liable to imprisonment for five years; or

(2) if he does so with intent unlawfully to inflict any
wound or grievous harm upon any person, be
liable to imprisonment for ten years; or

(3) if he does so with intent unlawfully to maim or
to cause dangerous harm to, or to endanger the
life of any person, be liable to imprisonment for
twenty years.

274. Whoever unlawfully and knowingly administers
any noxious matter to any person shall be liable to
imprisonment for three years.

275. Whoever causes another any degree of harm as
mentioned in this Title with intent to facilitate the
commission of any offence by himself or by any other
person, or with intent to hinder the arrest or detention of
himself or of any other person for any offence, or with
intent to hinder the discovery of any offence or with intent
to enable himself or any other person to escape from legal
custody, whether for a crime or for any other cause shall —

(1) if the offence is a felony, be liable to
imprisonment for a term which may exceed by
seven years the term for which he is otherwise
liable to such imprisonment;

(2) in any other case, be liable to imprisonment for
seven years.

22 of 1931, s. 2;
12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Causing grievous
harm.

See s. 135(2).

Negligently
causing grievous
harm.

Causing maim or
dangerous harm.

Use of deadly
means of harm.
13 of 1929, s. 2.

Administering
noxious matter.

Causing any
harm with matter
of aggravation.



PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 161





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

276. Whoever, with any of the intents mentioned in
section 275, and by means of choking, suffocating, or
strangling, or by any other violence or by means of any
stupefying or overpowering drug, gas or other matter,
renders or attempts to render a person unconscious or
insensible or physically incapable of resistance, shall be
liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

277. (1) Whoever causes the safety of any vessel to
be endangered, with intent to cause harm or danger of harm
to any person, shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty
years.

(2) Whoever sends or attempts to send, or is a party
to sending or attempting to send, a British ship to sea in
such an unseaworthy state that the life of any person is
likely to be thereby endangered shall be liable to
imprisonment for two years, unless he proves that he used
all reasonable means to insure her being sent to sea in such
a seaworthy state or that her going to sea in such an
unseaworthy state was, under the circumstances,
reasonable and justifiable.

(3) Every master of a British ship who knowingly
takes the same to sea in such an unseaworthy state that the
life of any person is likely to be thereby endangered shall
be liable to imprisonment for two years, unless he proves
that her going to sea in such unseaworthy state was, under
the circumstances, reasonable and justifiable.

(4) A prosecution under subsection (2) or (3) of this
section shall not be instituted except with the consent of
the Attorney-General.

278. Whoever in any manner unlawfully interferes
with or obstructs the working of any lighthouse, beacon,
buoy, signal or other apparatus or thing, which is used or
maintained for the safety of navigation, shall, although he
does not intend to cause harm or danger of harm to any
person, be liable to imprisonment for three years.

279. (1) Whoever in constructing or repairing any
vessel, or any fittings or machinery for a vessel, knowingly
uses such materials, or so does any work, or so conceals
any defect, as that the safety of the vessel, or of any person
on board the vessel, is likely to be endangered, shall be
liable to imprisonment for ten years.

Garotting, etc.

Intentionally
endangering
vessel.
See s. 328.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Sending
unseaworthy
ships to sea.

G.N. 187/1964.
G.N. 187/1964.

Interference with
signal, etc.
See s. 329.

See s. 328.

Fraud or
negligence
endangering
vessel.

CH.84 – 162] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Whoever supplies for use on board any vessel
any medical or surgical stores or instruments, or any
lifebelt or apparatus for saving life, of such inferior quality
or in such a condition as to be substantially unfit for the
purposes for which the same are or is supplied or as to be
likely to endanger life, shall, if he does so knowingly, be
liable to imprisonment for seven years or shall, if he does
so negligently, be liable to imprisonment for two years.

280. Whoever, being the master of or other person
connected with any ship belonging to The Bahamas
(whether the ship be or be not registered as such)
wrongfully forces on shore, and leaves behind or otherwise
wilfully and wrongfully leaves behind in any place on
shore or at sea in or out of Her Majesty’s dominions, any
seaman or apprentice belonging to such ship before the
completion of the voyage for which such person was
engaged, or the return of the ship to The Bahamas, is guilty
of a misdemeanour.

281. Whoever —
(1) being solely or partly in charge of any steam-

engine, machinery, spring-gun, man-trap or
dangerous thing or matter of any kind;

(2) having undertaken or being engaged in medical
or surgical treatment of any person;

(3) having undertaken or being engaged in the
dispensing, supply, selling, administering or
giving away of any medicine or any poisonous
or dangerous matter,

negligently causes harm to any person, or negligently
endangers the life of any person, shall be liable to
imprisonment for two years.

TITLE xix
KIDNAPPING

282. Whoever kidnaps any person shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten years.

283. Whoever steals any person under fourteen years
of age, whether with or without his consent, shall be liable
to imprisonment for ten years.

Wrongfully
leaving any
seaman at sea or
on shore.

Person in charge
of dangerous
thing, surgeon,
etc., negligently
causing harm or
danger.

See s. 267.
See s. 267.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.
9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch. Kidnapping.
21 of 1939, s. 4.

Child-stealing.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 163





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

284. Whoever by duress causes any person to marry
against his or her will, shall be liable to imprisonment for
two years.

285. If a female is compelled to marry another person
by such duress as avoids the marriage or makes it voidable,
the marriage is of no effect for the purpose of Book I. of
this Code with respect to consent.

286. A person is guilty of kidnapping —
(1) who unlawfully imprisons any person, and takes

him out of the jurisdiction of the court, without
his consent; or

(2) who unlawfully imprisons any person within the
jurisdiction of the court, in such a manner as to
prevent him from applying to a court for his
release or from discovering to any other person
the place where he is imprisoned, or in such a
manner as to prevent any person entitled to have
access to him from discovering the place where
he is imprisoned.

287. (1) A person is guilty of stealing another
person —

(a) who kidnaps him;
(b) who unlawfully takes or detains him, with intent

to deprive of the possession or control of him
any person entitled thereto or with intent to steal
anything upon or about his body or with intent
to cause any harm to him.

(2) For the purposes of this section, it is not
necessary to prove that the person stolen had been taken
from the possession, care or charge of any person, if it is
shown that some person, other than the accused person,
was entitled to the control or possession of the person
stolen.

288. For the purposes of the sections of this Title
relating to child-stealing —

(1) it is not necessary that the taking or detaining
should be without the consent of the person
taken or detained, and it suffices if the person is
persuaded, aided or encouraged to depart or not
to return;

Compulsion of
marriage.

Effect of
avoidance of
marriage as
regards consent.

Definition of
kidnapping.

Definition of
child-stealing.

Special
provisions as to
child-stealing.
9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.

CH.84 – 164] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) it is not necessary that there should be an intent
permanently to deprive any person of the
possession or control of the person taken or
detained;

(3) a taking or detention is unlawful unless some
person entitled to give consent to the taking or
detention of the person taken or detained, far the
purposes for which he is taken or detained, gives
consent to the taking or detention for those
purposes;

(4) a person having the temporary possession, care
or charge of another person for a special
purpose, as his attendant, employer or school-
master or in any other capacity, can be guilty of
stealing that person by acts which he is not
authorised to do for such special purpose, and he
cannot give consent to any act by another person
which would be inconsistent with such special
purpose; and

(5) notwithstanding the general provisions of Book I
of this Code with respect to mistake of law, a
person is not guilty of stealing another person by
anything which he does in the belief that he is
entitled by law as a parent or guardian, or by
virtue of any other legal right, to take or detain
the other person for the purposes for which he
takes or detains him; but this rule shall not be
construed to exempt a person from liability to
punishment on the plea that he did not know or
believe or had not the means of knowing, that the
other person was under twelve or sixteen years of
age, as the case may be; nor to exempt a person
from liability to punishment as for stealing if he
took or detained the other person for any immoral
purpose.

TITLE xx
HOMICIDE AND SIMILAR CRIMES

289. Whoever causes the death of another person by
any unlawful harm is guilty of manslaughter. If the harm
was negligently caused, he is guilty only of manslaughter
by negligence.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.

Definition of
manslaughter.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 165





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

290. Whoever intentionally causes the death of
another person by any unlawful harm is guilty of murder,
unless his crime is reduced to manslaughter by reason of
such extreme provocation, or other matter of partial
excuse, as in this Title hereafter mentioned.

291. Whoever commits murder shall be liable to suffer
death:

Provided that sentence of death shall not be
pronounced on or recorded against a person who, in the
opinion of the court, was at the time when the murder was
committed under eighteen years of age; but, in lieu of such
punishment, the court shall sentence such person to be
detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure, and, if so
sentenced, he shall, notwithstanding anything in the other
provisions of this Code or the provisions of any other Act,
be liable to be detained in such place and under such
conditions as the Governor-General may direct, and whilst
so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody.

292. Whoever attempts to commit murder shall be
liable to imprisonment for life.

293. Whoever commits manslaughter by negligence
shall be liable to imprisonment for five years; and whoever
commits manslaughter in any other case shall be liable to
imprisonment for life.

294. Whoever attempts to commit suicide is guilty of
a misdemeanour, and whoever abets the commission of
suicide by any person shall, whether or not the suicide be
actually committed, be liable to imprisonment for life.

295. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
abortion or miscarriage shall be liable to imprisonment for
ten years.

296. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
harm to a living child during the time of its birth shall be
liable to imprisonment for ten years.

297. Whoever conceals the body of a child, whether
the child was born alive or not, with intent to conceal the
fact of its birth, existence or death, or the manner or cause
of its death, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

See ss. 298 to
303.

Definition of
murder.

Murder.

27 of 1953, s. 2.

Attempt to
commit murder.

Manslaughter.

Attempt to
commit and
abetment of
suicide.

Abortion.

Causing harm to
child at birth.

Concealment of
body of child.

21 of 1939, s. 5.

CH.84 – 166] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

298. (1) Where a woman by any wilful act or omission
causes the death of her child, being a child under the age of
twelve months, but at the time of the act or omission the
balance of her mind was disturbed by reason of her not
having fully recovered from the effect of giving birth to the
child or by reason of the effect of lactation consequent upon
the birth of the child, then, notwithstanding that the
circumstances were such that but for this section the offence
would have amounted to murder, she shall be guilty of
felony, to wit, of infanticide, and may for such offence be
dealt with and punished as if she had been guilty of the
offence of manslaughter of the child.

(2) Where upon the trial of a woman for the murder
of her child, being a child under the age of twelve months,
the jury are of opinion that she by any wilful act or
omission caused its death, but that at the time of the act or
omission the balance of her mind was disturbed by reason
of her not having fully recovered from the effect of giving
birth to the child or by reason of the effect of lactation
consequent upon the birth of the child, the jury may,
notwithstanding that the circumstances were such that but
for the provisions of this section they might have returned
a verdict of murder, return in lieu thereof a verdict of
infanticide.

(3) Nothing in this section shall affect the power of
the jury upon an indictment for the murder of a child to
return a verdict of manslaughter, or a verdict of guilty but
insane, or a verdict of concealment of birth, in pursuance
of section 312, except that for the purpose of that section a
child shall be deemed to have recently been born if it had
been within twelve months before its death.

(4) The said section 312 shall apply in the case of
the acquittal of a woman upon an information for
infanticide as it applies upon the acquittal of a woman
upon an indictment for murder.

Special Provisions
299. A person who intentionally causes the death of

another person by unlawful harm shall be deemed to be
guilty only of manslaughter, and not of murder, if any of
the following matters of extenuation are proved on his
behalf, namely —

21 of 1939, s. 5.
Infanticide.

Cases in which
intentional
homicide is
reduced to
manslaughter.
See s. 305.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 167





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(1) that he was deprived of the power of self-control
by such extreme provocation given by the other
person as is mentioned in section 300; or

(2) that he was justified in causing some harm to the
other person, and that, in causing harm in excess
of the harm which he was justified in causing, he
acted from such terror of immediate death or
grievous harm as in fact deprived him for the
time being of the power of self control; or

(3) that, in causing the death, he acted in the belief,
in good faith and on reasonable grounds, that he
was under a legal duty to cause the death or to
do the act which he did; or

(4) in the case of a woman who causes the death of
her child recently born, that, although she was
not insane, she was deprived of the power of self
control by a disease or disorder of mind
produced by child-bearing.

Illustration

Para. (3) —A soldier is ordered by his commanding officer to fire
upon a mob, there being no necessity for such an order to be given.
Here, if the soldier in good faith believed himself bound to obey the
order, he is not guilty of murder.

300. The following matters may amount to extreme
provocation to one person to cause the death of another
person, namely —

(1) an unlawful assault and battery committed upon
the accused person by the other person, either in
an unlawful fight or otherwise, which is of such
a kind, either in respect of its violence or by
reason of accompanying words, gestures or
other circumstances of insult or aggravation, as
to be likely to deprive a person, being of
ordinary character, and being in the
circumstances in which the accused person was,
of the power of self-control;

(2) the assumption by the other person, at the
commencement of an unlawful fight, of an
attitude manifesting an intention of instantly
attacking the accused person with deadly or
dangerous means or in a deadly manner;

See ss. 107(4)
and 112.

Matters which
amount to
provocation.

CH.84 – 168] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) an act of adultery committed in the view of the
accused person with or by his wife or her
husband, or the crime of unnatural carnal
knowledge committed in his or her view upon
his or her wife or child; and

(4) a violent assault and battery committed in the
view or presence of the accused person upon his
or her wife, husband, child, or parent, or upon
any other person being in the presence and in the
care or charge of the accused person.

301. (1) Notwithstanding proof on behalf of the
accused person of such matter of extreme provocation as in
section 300 is mentioned, his crime shall not be deemed to
be thereby reduced to manslaughter if it appears, either
from the evidence given on his behalf or from evidence
given on the part of the prosecution —

(a) that he was not in fact deprived of the power of
self control by the provocation;

(b) that he acted wholly or partly from a previous
purpose to cause death, or harm or to engage in
an unlawful fight, whether or not he would have
acted on that purpose at the time or in the
manner in which he did act but for the
provocation;

(c) that, after the provocation was given, and before
he did the act which caused the harm, such a
time elapsed or such circumstances occurred that
a person of ordinary character might have
recovered his self control; or

(d) that his act was, in respect either of the
instrument or means used or of the cruel or other
manner in which it was used, greatly in excess
of the measure in which a person of ordinary
character would have been likely under the
circumstances to be deprived of his self control
by the provocation.

(2) Where a person, in the course of a fight, uses
any deadly or dangerous means against an adversary who
has not used or commenced to use any deadly or dangerous
means against him, if it appears that the accused person
purposed or prepared to use such means before he had
received any such blow or hurt in the fight as might be a
sufficient provocation to use means of that kind, he shall be
presumed to have used the means from a previous


Cases in which
benefit of
provocation is
excluded.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 169





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

purpose to cause death, notwithstanding that, before the
actual use of the means, he may have received any such
blow or hurt in the fight as might amount to extreme
provocation.

Illustrations

Subs. (1) —(b) A., who has long been seeking an occasion to fight
in a deadly manner with B., is struck by B. and kills B. Here, if the jury
think that A. put himself in B.’s way for the purpose of taking any
opportunity which might occur to fight with B., the crime of A. is not
reduced to manslaughter by reason of the blow which he received from
B.

(d) A. receives a slight blow from a weaker man B., and beats and
kicks B. to death. A.’s crime is not reduced to manslaughter.

302. A lawful blow, arrest or other violence may be a
provocation, notwithstanding its lawfulness, if the accused
person neither believed nor, at the time of his act, had
reasonable means of knowing or reasonable ground for
supposing, that it was lawful.

303. Where a sufficient provocation has been given
to the accused person by one person, and he kills another
person under the belief, on reasonable grounds, that the
provocation was given by him, the provocation shall be
admissible for reducing the crime to manslaughter in the
same manner as if it had been given by the person killed;
but, except as in this section mentioned, provocation given
by one person is not a provocation to kill a different
person.

304. Where on the charge of murder there is evidence
on which the jury can find that the person charged was
provoked (whether by things done or by things said or by
both together) to lose his self-control, the question whether
the provocation was enough to make a reasonable man do
as he did shall be left to be determined by the jury; and in
determining that question the jury shall take into account
everything both done and said according to the effect
which, in their opinion, it would have on a reasonable man.

Mistake as to
matter of
provocation.

Mistake as to
person giving
provocation.
See s. 290.

Question of
provocation for
jury.

22 of 1959, s. 3.

2 of 1959, s. 2.

CH.84 – 170] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

305. (1) Where a person kills or is a party to the
killing of another, he shall not be convicted of murder if he
was suffering from such abnormality of mind (whether
arising from a condition of arrested or retarded develop-
ment of mind or any inherent causes or induced by disease
or injury) as substantially impaired his mental responsi-
bility for his acts and omissions in doing or being a party to
the killing.

(2) On a charge of murder, it shall be for the
defence to prove that the person charged is by virtue of this
section not liable to be convicted of murder.

(3) A person who but for this section would be
liable, whether as principal or as accessory, to be convicted
of murder shall be liable instead to be convicted of
manslaughter.

(4) The fact that one party to a killing is by virtue of
this section not liable to be convicted of murder shall not
affect the question whether the killing amounted to murder
in the case of any other party to it.

(5) The defences provided in this section shall be in
addition and without prejudice to and notwithstanding the
provisions of this Code.

306. The general provisions of Book I. of this Code
with respect to causing an event are, in their application
with respect to the causing of death by harm, subject to the
following explanations and modifications, namely —

(1) the death of a person shall be held to have been
caused by harm, if, by reason of the harm, death
has happened otherwise or sooner, by however
short a time, than it would probably have
happened but for the harm;

(2) it is immaterial that the harm would not have
caused the person’s death but for his infancy,
old age, disease, intoxication or other state of
body or mind, at the time when the harm was
caused;

(3) it is immaterial that the harm would not have
caused the person’s death but for his refusal or
neglect to submit to or seek proper medical or
surgical treatment, or but for his negligent or
improper conduct or manner of living or of
treating the harm, unless it is made to appear
that the person acted as he did with the purpose
of causing his own death;

22 of 1959, s. 2.

Persons suffering
from diminished
responsibility.

22 of 1959, s. 4.
22 of 1959 s 4

See s. 14.

Special
provisions as to
causing death.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 171





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) death shall be held to have been caused by harm
if the death is caused by the medical or surgical
treatment of the harm, unless such treatment
itself amounts to murder or manslaughter; and

(5) death shall not be held to have been caused by
harm unless the death takes place within a year
and a day of the harm being caused.

307. The general provisions of Book I. of this Code
with respect to abetment are, in their application for the
purposes of this Title, subject to the following special
provision, namely, where a person commands the killing of
another person, knowing that the killing will be unlawful,
then, although the offence of the person so commanded be
reduced to manslaughter, or to an attempt to commit
manslaughter, by his belief that he was under a legal duty
to obey the command, the person giving the command is
guilty of the same offence as if the person commanded had
not believed himself to be under a legal duty to obey the
command.

308. (1) In order that child may be such a person that
it may be murder or manslaughter to cause its death, it is
necessary that, before its death, the child should have been
completely brought forth alive from the body of the
mother.

(2) It is not necessary either that a circulation of
blood, independent of the mother’s circulation, should have
commenced in the child, or that the child should have
breathed, or that it should have been detached from the
mother by severance of the umbilical cord; and it is murder
or manslaughter, as the case may be, to cause death to
happen to a child after it becomes a person, within the
meaning of this section, by means of harm caused to it
before it became such a person.

309. (1) The offence of causing abortion or miscar-
riage of a woman can be committed either by that woman
or any other person; and that woman or any other person
can be guilty of using means with intent to commit that
offence, although the woman is not in fact pregnant.

(2) The offence of causing abortion can be
committed by causing a woman to be prematurely
delivered of a child, with intent unlawfully to cause or
hasten the death of the child.

Special provision
as to abetment of
homicide.
See ss. 86 and 87.

Explanation as to
a child as the
object of
homicide.

Explanation as to
causing abortion.

CH.84 – 172] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

310. (1) Where harm is caused to a child during the
time of its birth, or where, upon the discovery of the
concealed body of the child, harm is found to have been
caused to it, the harm shall be presumed to have been
caused to the child before its death.

(2) The expression “during the time of birth”
includes the whole period from the commencement of
labour till the time when the child so becomes a person as
that it may be murder or manslaughter to cause its death.

311. (1) Any secret disposition of the body of a child,
whether it be intended to be permanent or not, may be
concealment.

(2) The abandonment of the body of a child in any
public place may be a concealment, if the body is
abandoned for the purpose of concealing the fact of its
birth or existence.

(3) Section 297 shall not apply to the case of a child
of less than six months’ growth before its birth.

(4) Section 297 shall not apply to the case of intent
to conceal the birth, existence or death of a child, or the
manner or cause of its death, from any particular person or
persons only, but it is requisite that there should be an
intent to conceal the same from all persons, except such
persons as abet or consent to the concealment; and

(5) The provisions of section 297 apply as well to
the mother of the child as to any other person.

Illustrations

Subs. (4) —(a) A woman conceals from her father or mother the
body of her child. She is not guilty of concealment of birth, unless she
intended to conceal it from persons generally.

(b) A woman conceals the body of her child from all persons
except a nurse who helps her in the concealment. The woman is guilty
of concealment of birth, notwithstanding that she did not conceal it
from her accomplice.

312. If any person tried for the murder of any child
shall be acquitted thereof, it shall be lawful for the jury, by
whose verdict such person shall be acquitted, to find, in
case it shall so appear in evidence, that the child had


Explanation as to
causing harm to a
child at birth.

Explanation as to
concealment of
body of child.

Alternative
verdict upon
acquittal in trial
for murder of a
new-born child.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 173





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

recently been born, and that such person did, by some
secret disposition of the dead body of such child,
endeavour to conceal the birth thereof, and thereupon the
court may pass such sentence as if such person had been
convicted upon an indictment for the concealment against
the provisions of section 297.

313. (1) Where any person does an act in good faith,
for the purposes of medical or surgical treatment, an intent
to cause death shall not be presumed from the fact that the
act was or appeared likely to cause death.

(2) Any act which is done, in good faith and without
negligence, for the purposes of medical or surgical
treatment of a pregnant woman is justifiable, although it
causes or is intended to cause abortion or miscarriage, or
premature delivery, or the death of the child.

314. Where harm is unlawfully caused to a person
within the jurisdiction of the court, and his death is thereby
caused, but the death happens beyond the jurisdiction of
the court, any person who is guilty of having caused or
abetted the causing of the harm may be tried and punished
under this Code for murder or manslaughter as if the death
had happened within the jurisdiction.

Illustration

A. wounds B. in The Bahamas. B. sails from The Bahamas and
dies of the wound in Jamaica. A. is punishable in The Bahamas for the
murder or manslaughter.

TITLE xxi
LIBEL

315. (1) Whoever is convicted of negligent libel shall
be liable to imprisonment for six months.

(2) Whoever is convicted of intentional libel shall
be liable to imprisonment for two years.

Special Provisions
316. A person is guilty of libel who, by print, writing,

painting, effigy or by any means otherwise than solely by
gestures, spoken words, or other sounds, unlawfully


Savings in case
of medical or
surgical
treatment.

Special provision
as to jurisdiction
in case of
homicide.

Negligent and
intentional libel.

Cases in which a
person is guilty
of libel.

CH.84 – 174] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

publishes any defamatory matter concerning another
person, either negligently or with intent to defame that
other person.

317. (1) Matter is defamatory which imputes to a
person any crime or misconduct in any public office, or
which is likely to injure him in his occupation, calling or
office, or to expose him to general hatred, contempt or
ridicule.

(2) In this section “crime” includes any act, where-
soever committed, which if committed by a person within
the jurisdiction of the court, would be punishable on
indictment under any law.

318. (1) A person publishes a libel if he causes the
print, writing, painting, effigy or other means by which the
defamatory matter is conveyed, to be so dealt with, either
by exhibition, reading, recitation, description, delivery or
otherwise as that the defamatory meaning thereof becomes
known or is likely to become known to either the person
defamed or any other person.

(2) It is not necessary for libel that a defamatory
meaning should be directly or completely expressed; and it
suffices if such meaning and its application to the person
alleged to be defamed, can be collected either from the
alleged libel itself or from any extrinsic circumstances, or
partly by the one and partly by the other means.

319. Any publication of defamatory matter
concerning a person is unlawful, within the meaning of this
Title, unless it is privileged on one of the grounds hereafter
mentioned in this Title.

320. (1) The publication of defamatory matter is
absolutely privileged, and no person shall under any
circumstances be liable to punishment under this Code in
respect thereof, in any of the following cases, namely —

(a) if the matter is published by the Governor-
General or by the Senate or the House of
Assembly of The Bahamas in any official
document or proceeding;

Definition of
defamatory
matter.

Definition of
publication.

Definition of
unlawful
publication.

Cases in which
publication of
defamatory
matter is
absolutely
privileged.

43 of 1964, Third
Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 175





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) if the matter is published in the Senate or in the
House of Assembly of The Bahamas by the
Governor-General or by a member of either
House;

(c) if the matter is published by order of the
Governor-General;

(d) if the matter is published concerning a person
subject to military or naval discipline for the
time being, and relates to his conduct as a person
subject to such discipline, and is published by
some person having authority over him in
respect of such conduct, and to some person
having authority over him in respect of such
conduct;

(e) if the matter is published by a person acting in
any “judicial proceeding” within the meaning of
section 423, whether as a judge or magistrate, or
as Attorney-General or other public prosecutor,
or as a juror or a member of a commission of
enquiry, or as a witness;

(f) if the matter published is in fact a fair report of
anything said, done or published in the Senate or
the House of Assembly of The Bahamas;

(g) if the person publishing the matter is legally
bound to publish it; or

(h) if the matter is true, and if it is found by the jury
that it was for the public benefit that it should be
published.

(2) Where a publication is absolutely privileged, it is
immaterial for the purposes of this Title (notwithstanding any
of the general provisions of Book I. of this Code with respect
to justifications or excuses) whether (except as in the last
paragraph of subsection (1) of this section is mentioned) the
matter be true or false, and whether it be or be not known or
believed to be false, and whether it be or be not published in
good faith:

Provided that nothing in this section shall exempt a
person from any liability to punishment under any other
Title of this Code or under any other law.

321. A publication of defamatory matter is privileged,
on condition that it was published in good faith, in any of the
following cases, namely —

Cases in which
publication of
defamatory
matter is
conditionally
privileged.

CH.84 – 176] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(1) if the matter published is in fact a fair report of
anything said, done or shown in a civil or
criminal inquiry or proceeding before any court
or commission of inquiry:

Provided that if the court or commissioners
prohibit the publication of anything said or
shown before it, on the ground that it is
seditious, immoral or blasphemous, the publica-
tion thereof shall not be privileged;

(2) if the matter published is a copy or reproduction,
or in fact a fair abstract, of any matter which has
been previously published, and the previous
publication of which was or would have been
privileged under section 320;

(3) if the matter is published by a person acting as
counsel or advocate in the course of, or in
preparation for, any legal proceeding;

(4) if the matter is an expression of opinion in good
faith as to the conduct of a person in a judicial,
official or other public capacity, or as to his
personal character so far as it appears in such
conduct;

(5) if the matter is an expression of opinion in good
faith as to the conduct of a person in relation to
any public question or matter, or as to his
personal character so far as it appears in such
conduct;

(6) if the matter is an expression of opinion in good
faith as to the conduct of any person as disclosed
by evidence given in a public legal proceeding,
whether civil or criminal, or as to the conduct of
any person as a party, witness or otherwise in
any such proceeding, or as to the character of
any person so far as it appears in any such
conduct as in this subsection mentioned;

(7) if the matter is an expression of opinion in good
faith as to the merits of any book, writing,
painting, speech or other work, performance or
act published, or publicly done or made, or
submitted by a person to the judgment of the
public, or as to the character of the person so far
as it appears therein;

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 177





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(8) if the matter is a censure passed by a person in
good faith on the conduct of another person in
any matter in respect of which he has authority,
by contract or otherwise, over the other person,
or on the character of the other person so far as
it appears in such conduct;

(9) if the matter is a complaint or accusation made
by a person in good faith against another person
in respect to his conduct in any matter, or in
respect of his character so far as it appears in
such conduct, to any person having authority, by
contract or otherwise, over that other person in
respect of such conduct, or matter, or having
authority by law to inquire into or receive
complaints respecting such conduct or matter; or

(10) if the matter is published in good faith for the
protection of the rights or interests of the person
who publishes it, or of the person to whom it is
published, or of some person in whom the
person to whom it is published is interested.

322. (1) A publication of defamatory matter shall not
be deemed to have been made in good faith by a person,
within the meaning of section 321, if it is made to appear
either —

(a) that the matter was untrue, and that he did not
believe it to be true;

(b) that the matter was untrue, and that he published
it without having taken reasonable care to
ascertain whether it was true or false; or

(c) that, in publishing the matter, he acted with
intent to injure the person defamed in a
substantially greater degree or substantially
otherwise than was reasonably necessary for the
interest of the public or for the protection of the
private right or interest in respect of which he
claims to be privileged.

(2) If it is proved, on behalf of the accused person,
that the defamatory matter was published under such
circumstances that the publication would have been
justified if made in good faith, the publication shall be
presumed to have been made in good faith until the
contrary is made to appear, either from the libel itself, or
from the evidence given on behalf of the accused person,
or from evidence given on the part of the prosecution.

Explanation as to
good faith.

CH.84 – 178] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

TITLE xxii
ARSON AND MISCHIEF TO

PROPERTY
Arson

323. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
any dwelling-house or vessel to be set on fire shall be
liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

324. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
any building, or vessel, whether it be completed or in an
unfinished state, or causes anything in or near to any
building or vessel to be set on fire, with intent to destroy or
materially damage that or any other building or vessel,
shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

325. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
any machine, or engine or any crop of produce or any stack
of coal, charcoal, wood or bark or any other thing,
exceeding forty dollars in value, or any forest or plantation
of trees, to be set on fire, shall be liable to imprisonment
for fourteen years.

326. Whoever uses any explosive matter with intent
unlawfully to cause material damage to any building, or
vessel, or to any bridge or road, or to any machine, or to
any property exceeding one hundred dollars in value, shall
be liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

327. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully, in any
case not otherwise in this Title expressly provided for,
causes damage by fire or explosion to any movable or
immovable property, shall, if the damage so caused
exceeds twenty-five dollars or harm is caused to any
person, be liable to imprisonment for five years, or
otherwise to imprisonment for one year.

Other Criminal Mischief
328. Whoever in any manner intentionally and

unlawfully causes material damage —
(1) to any house, wall, fence, building or vessel or

to any bridge or to any machine or engine or
tools exceeding twenty-five dollars in value; or

Arson of
dwelling-house
or vessel.

Arson of
building, etc.

Arson of
machine, crop,
etc.
5 of 1987, s. 2.
See s. 186.

Use of explosive
matter with intent
to cause damage.
5 of 1987, Sch.

Causing damage
by fire or
explosion
generally.

5 of 1987, Sch.

See s. 154(2).

Damage to
building, or
construction, etc.
See ss. 154, 155,
277 and 279.
5 of 1987, Sch.
See ss 154 155

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) to any building, bank, wall, dam or floodgate or
other structure, work, or apparatus constructed,
used or maintained for the purposes of any port,
harbour, dock, canal, fish or salt-pond or water-
works, or for the purpose of regulating the
action of the sea or of any river, or for the
purpose of protecting any coast or land from
inundation by sea-water or other water, or for
the purpose of the supply of water to any
manufactory, mill, machinery, or stream, or fish
or salt-pond or for the purpose of irrigation,

shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.
329. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes

damage to, or renders permanently or temporarily useless,
or obstructs the working of, any lighthouse, beacon, buoy,
signal or other apparatus or thing, of what kind soever,
which is used or maintained for the safety of navigation,
shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.

330. Whoever intentionally or unlawfully causes
damage to, or attempts to damage any telegraph station or
damages or obstructs or attempts to damage or obstruct the
working of any telegraph station or any battery, machine,
mast, pole, wire, or apparatus used for the purposes of any
telegraph, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
Sch. [Ch84s331]

331. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
damage to anything in course of manufacture or of
preparation for sale, or to anything manufactured or
prepared for sale, or to any plantation of trees or of any
agricultural produce, whether growing or severed from the
soil, and whether in any building, yard, stack or
wheresoever situate, shall, if the damage caused exceeds
five hundred dollars, be liable to imprisonment for five
years, or shall, if the damage caused is to the amount of or
less than five hundred dollars, but exceeds five dollars, be
liable to imprisonment for one year.

332. (1) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully kills,
maims, or wounds any cattle, or causes any damage to the
amount of or exceeding five hundred dollars to any cattle,
or uses poison with intent unlawfully to cause any damage
to any cattle, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.

5 of 1987, Sch; 17

Damage to
lighthouse, etc.
See s. 278.

Damage to
telegraph.

5 of 1987, Sch;
17 of 1952, s. 6.
See s. 165.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Damage to
manufacture, and
other produce.
See ss. 155 to
157.

Damage to cattle
and doping of
horses.

11 of 1951, s. 6.

CH.84 – 180] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Whoever administers or causes or procures to be
administered or permits the administration of any drug or
other substance to any horse with intent in any way to
affect the manner in or speed at which such horse shall run
on any race course licensed under the Racecourse Betting
Act shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

333. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully takes or
destroys fish in any private water in any land adjoining or
belonging to the dwelling-house of the owner of such
water, or takes and destroys fish exceeding twenty-five
dollars in value placed in any crawl, private fishery or pond
elsewhere shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.

334. Whoever unlawfully takes away or opens a mail
bag sent by any vessel employed by or under the post
office for the transmission of postal packets under contract,
or unlawfully takes a postal packet in course of
transmission by post out of a mail bag so sent, shall be
liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

335. (1) Whoever, not being in the employment of
the postmaster, wilfully and maliciously, with intent to
injure any other person, either opens or causes to be
opened any letter which ought to have been delivered to
that other person, or does any act or thing whereby the due
delivery of the letter to that other person is prevented or
impeded, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

(2) Nothing in this section shall apply to a person
who does any act to which this section applies where he is
a parent, or in the position of parent or guardian, of the
person to whom the letter is addressed.

(3) A prosecution shall not be instituted in
pursuance of this section except by the direction or with
the consent of the Attorney-General.

(4) A letter in this section means a postal packet in
course of transmission by post and any other letter which
has been delivered by post.

336. (1) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully ab-
stracts, causes to be wasted or diverted, consumes or uses
any electricity supplied and belonging to the Government
or a public board, corporation or company is guilty of
felony.

Ch. 386.

11 of 1951, s. 6.

Taking fish in
private water
situate on land
adjoining
dwelling-house
or in private
fishery
elsewhere.

Unlawfully
taking away or
opening mail bag
sent by vessel
employed under
post office.
See s. 342.

Criminal
diversion of
letters from
addressee.
See ss. 255 and
456.

Abstracting of
electricity.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 181





LRO 1/2002 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) The provisions of this section shall be in
addition to the offences and penalties mentioned in the
Electricity Act and any other Act relating to the public
supply of electric light and energy; but so that a person is
not twice punishable for the same act or matter.

337. Whoever unlawfully damages any document
with intent to destroy or materially damage it, with a
purpose to defraud or injure any person, shall be liable to
imprisonment for five years; or shall, if it is a will or a
document of title to land or to any interest in land be liable
to imprisonment for twenty years.

338. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes
damage exceeding twenty-five dollars to any land or to any
animal or thing in any case or with any unlawful intent not
specially provided for in this Title or causes any material
damage to any public record or to any work of art in a
public place, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

TITLE xxiii
ROBBERY, FRAUD AND EXTORTION

Robbery, Stealing, etc.
339. (1) Whoever commits robbery shall be liable to

imprisonment for fourteen years.
(2) Whoever commits robbery, being armed with

any offensive instrument, or having made any preparation
for using force or causing harm, shall be liable to
imprisonment for twenty years:

Provided that whoever commits robbery, being
armed with any offensive instrument shall, where the
offensive instrument is a firearm, be liable to imprisonment
for life.

(3) In subsection (2) “firearm” means any barrelled
weapon of any description capable of inflicting injury from
which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged
and includes anything which has the appearance of being a


Ch. 194.

See ss. 341, 428
and 455.

Damage to
document.

Damage in cases
not provided for.
5 of 1987, Sch.
See ss. 155 and
158.

Robbery and
robbery with
violence.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.
10 of 2000, s. 2.

2 of 1989, s. 2.

10 of 2000, s. 2.
2 of 1989, s. 2.

CH.84 – 182] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2002

firearm notwithstanding that it is not loaded or is otherwise
incapable of discharging any shot, bullet or other missile.

340. Whoever is convicted of stealing —
(1) anything from a place of worship;
(2) anything belonging to or being on board any

ship or vessel in distress or wrecked, stranded or
cast on shore;

(3) any pole, wire or apparatus in use for the
working of any public telegraph or telephone,

and whoever is convicted of stealing anything to the value
in the whole of five hundred dollars or more in any of the
following cases, or whoever, having been previously
convicted of a similar offence, is convicted of stealing
anything of any value, in the following cases, namely —

(4) stealing anything of which he had the custody,
control or possession, or to which he had the
means of access, by reason of any office,
employment or service;

(5) stealing from or in any dwelling house, shop,
manufactory or vessel, or from or on any dock,
wharf or quay adjacent to any harbour or port of
entry or discharge;

(6) stealing from the person; or
(7) stealing any cattle,

shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.
341. Whoever, during the life of the testator or after

his death, steals or conceals any will or codicil or other
testamentary instrument, whether the same relates to real or
personal estate or to both, shall be liable to imprisonment
for twenty years:

Provided that no person shall be liable to be
convicted of a crime under this section, nor convicted of
the crime of either stealing or concealing or damaging any
will or any document of title to land against any provisions
of this Book upon any evidence whatever in respect of any
such act done by him, if at any time previously to his being
charged with such crime he has first disclosed such an act
on oath, in consequence of any compulsory process of law
or equity in any action, suit or proceeding which has been
bona fide instituted by any person aggrieved, or if he shall
have first disclosed the same in any compulsory examina-
tion or deposition before any court upon the hearing of


Sacrilege and
stealing in special
cases.

17 of 1952, s. 2;
5 of 1987, Sch.

See s. 140.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Stealing a will or
codicil.
See s. 337.

Proviso
exempting
persons making a
previous
disclosure of the
crime.
See s. 360(3).

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 183





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

any matter in bankruptcy or insolvency. Such other
provisions under Title vi. in Book I. of this Code, as are
applicable to the foregoing exemption, shall be read and
construed as part of this proviso.

342. (1) Whoever is convicted of —
(a) stealing a mail bag;

See ss. 255, 334, 456 a

(b) stealing from a mail bag, or from a post office,
or from an officer of the post office, or from a
mail, any postal packet in course of transmission
by post;

(c) stealing any chattel or money or valuable
security out of a postal packet in course of
transmission by post,

shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
(2) Whoever fraudulently retains, or wilfully secretes

or keeps, or detains, or, when required by an officer of the
post office, neglects or refuses to deliver up —

(a) any postal packet which is in course of transmis-
sion by post and which ought to have been
delivered to any other person; or

(b) any postal packet in course of transmission by
post or any mail bag which shall have been
found by him or any other person,

is guilty of a misdemeanour.
343. Whoever, having devised or intending to devise

any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money
or property by means of false or fraudulent pretences,
representations or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan,
exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, furnish, or
procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin,
obligation, security or other article, or anything repre-
sented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit
or spurious article, for the purpose of carrying out such
scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post
office or authorised depository for mail, any matter or
thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the post office, or
takes or receives therefrom any such matter or thing, or
knowingly cause to be delivered by mail according to the


Stealing mail bag
or postal packet.

See ss. 255, 334,
456 and 457.

Fraudulent
retention of mail
bag or postal
packet.

Fraud by mail.
39 of 1965, s. 2

CH.84 – 184] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to
be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any
such matter or thing, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding
five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprison-
ment.

344. (1) Whoever is convicted of being a common
thief shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.

(2) A person shall be deemed to be a common thief
if it is proved against him that, in or whilst committing or
attempting to commit or abetting the commission of any
offence punishable under this Title or Title xxiv. of this
Code, he used or was in possession of any tools, implement
or means specially contrived or adapted for the purpose of
committing the offence, or acted in company with or
abetted, or was abetted by, any other person or persons
using or in possession of any such tools, implements or
means.

345. Whoever is convicted of stealing, in any case in
which some other punishment is not provided in this Title,
shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.

346. (1) Whoever extorts any property from any
person by means of threats shall be liable to imprisonment
for five years.

(2) Whoever for the purposes of extortion, accuses
or threatens to accuse a person (whether living or dead) of
an infamous offence, shall be liable to imprisonment for
fifteen years.

Fraudulent Breach of Trust
347. Whoever is convicted of fraudulent breach of

trust shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
False Pretences and Other Frauds

348. Whoever defrauds any person by any false
pretence shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Common thief.

Definition of a
common thief.

Stealing.
See s. 139.

Extortion.
See s. 260.

39 of 1961, s. 2.

Fraudulent
breach of trust.
See s. 140.

See ss. 144 and
488.

Fraud by false
pretence.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 185





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

349. Whoever intentionally destroys or causes
damage to any building, vessel, goods, cattle or other thing,
with the purpose of claiming or obtaining, or of enabling
any person to claim or obtain any moneys or compensa-
tion of any kind from any person who has insured the
same, shall be liable to imprisonment for fifteen years.

350. Whoever, being a clerk, servant or public
officer, and whoever, being an officer of any partnership,
company or corporation, does or concurs in the doing of
any of the acts hereinafter mentioned, with intent to cause
or enable any person to be defrauded, or with intent to
commit or to facilitate the commission by himself or by
any other person, of any offence, that is to say —

(1) conceals, injures, destroys, alters or falsifies any
book, paper or account kept by or belonging or
entrusted to his employers or to the partnership,
company or corporation, or entrusted to him, or
to which he has access, as such clerk, servant or
officer, or omits to make a full and true entry in
any account of any thing which he is bound to
enter therein; or

(2) publishes any account, statement or prospectus
relating to the affairs of the partnership,
company or corporation, which he knows to be
false in any material particular,

shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.
351. Whoever, in order to induce any person to

become a purchaser or mortgagee of any land or interest in
land, fraudulently conceals any document which is material
to the title to such land or interest, shall be liable to
imprisonment for three years.

352. (1) Whoever —
(a) obtains credit by any fraud or false pretence;
(b) with intent to defraud his creditors, or any of

them, makes any gift, or transfer of or any
charge on any of his property;

(c) with intent to defraud his creditors, or any of
them, conceals or removes any of his property,
after or within two months before the date of
any unsatisfied payment or order obtained
against him,

shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.

Fraud as to
insurance.

Falsification of
accounts, etc.
See ss. 140 and
455 to 458.

Fraud in sale or
mortgage of
land.

Fraudulent
debtors.

CH.84 – 186] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) The provisions of this section shall be in
addition to any provisions of any other law relating to
bankruptcy or insolvency, but so that a person is not twice
punishable for the same act or matter.

353. Whoever by any false, misleading or deceptive
statement, representation or promise, or by any dishonest
concealment of material facts, fraudulently induces or
attempts to induce any person to borrow money, or to agree
to the terms on which money is or is to be borrowed, is
guilty of a misdemeanour.

354. (1) For the purposes of this section —
“agent” includes any person employed by or acting

for another; and a person serving under the
Crown or under any corporation or board is an
agent within the meaning of this section;

“consideration” includes valuable consideration of
any kind;

“principal” includes an employer.
(2) Whoever —
(a) being an agent corruptly accepts or obtains or

agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, from any
person, for himself or for any other person, any
gift or consideration as an inducement or reward
for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done
or forborne to do, any act in relation to his
principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or
forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any
person in relation to his principal’s affairs or
business; or

(b) corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers any
gift or consideration to any agent as an
inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to
do or having done or forborne to do, any act in
relation to his principal’s affairs or business, or
for showing or forbearing to show favour or
disfavour to any person in relation to his
principal’s affairs or business; or

(c) knowingly gives to any agent, or being himself
an agent knowingly uses with intent to deceive
his principal, any receipt, account, or other docu-
ment


Money lending
under false
pretence.

Interpretation.

See s. 147.

Punishment of
corrupt
transactions with
agents.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 187





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

in respect of which the principal is interested,
and which contains any statement which is false
or erroneous or defective in any material
particular, and which to his knowledge is
intended to mislead the principal,

shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of
two years, or to a fine of two thousand dollars, or to both
such imprisonment and such fine.

(3) A prosecution for an offence under this section
shall not be instituted without the consent of the Attorney-
General.

355. Whoever with intent to defraud —
(1) removes, injures, alters or falsifies any boundary

mark or thing serving or intended to distinguish
the land or other property of himself, or of any
person, from the land or other property of any
other person; or

(2) conceals, injures, alters or falsifies any bill of
lading, invoice, manifest, receipt or other docu-
ment evidencing the quantity, character or
disposition of any property, or the receipt or
disposition of, or the title of any person to, any
property,

shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
356. Whoever, secretly or by duress or deceit, and

with intent to defraud, takes or obtains any property from
any person to whom he has pawned, pledged or otherwise
bailed it, or from any person having, by virtue of any
execution, seizure or other process of law, the possession,
custody or control thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

357. Whoever, knowing that any execution, warrant
or other process of law has been awarded or issued for the
seizure of anything belonging to him or in his possession,
custody or control, removes, conceals or in any manner
disposes of the thing, with intent to defeat or evade the
execution, warrant or other process, is guilty of a
misdemeanour.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Prosecution for
offences.

Fraud as to
boundaries or
documents.

Fraud as to thing
pledged or taken
in execution.
See s. 242.

Fraud in
removing goods
to evade legal
process.
See s. 242.

CH.84 – 188] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Receiving
358. Whoever dishonestly receives any property

which he knows to have been obtained or appropriated by
any offence punishable under this Title shall, if the offence
was a felony, be guilty of felony, or shall, if the offence
was a misdemeanour, be liable to the same punishment as
if he had committed the offence.

359. (1) Whoever is convicted of being a common
receiver shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

Definition of a common receiver.
(2) A person shall be deemed to, be a common

receiver —
(a) if he is twice within ten years convicted of the

offence of receiving;
(b) if the proceeds of two or more offences punish-

able under Title xi. or this Title or Title xxiv. of
this Code are in his possession at the same time;
or

(c) if he, knowingly and without reasonable excuse,
has in his possession any tools, implements or
means specially contrived or adapted for the
purpose of breaking up, melting or otherwise
preventing the identification of the proceeds of
any offence as aforesaid.

Special Provisions
360. (1) No person shall be convicted by any

evidence whatsoever of any offence mentioned under this
Title or under Title xxiv. of this Code in respect of any act
done by him as a trustee or as an officer of any partnership,
company or corporation, or as a factor or agent acting
under any power of attorney, if he shall at any time
previously to his being charged with such offence have
first disclosed such an act on oath in consequence of any
compulsory process of any court of law or equity, in any
action, suit or proceeding which shall have been bona fide
instituted by any party aggrieved, or if he shall have first
disclosed the same in any compulsory examination or
deposition before any court upon the hearing of any matter
in bankruptcy or insolvency.

Dishonestly
receiving
properly
obtained by
indictable
offence.

See ss. 62 to 65
and 148.

Common
receiving.
See s. 148.

Exemption of
person making
previous
disclosure in
compulsory
proceedings.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 189





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) Where any civil proceeding shall have been
taken against any trustee, officer, factor or agent to whom
the provisions of this section may apply, no person who
shall have taken such civil proceeding shall commence any
prosecution for an offence under any Title in this Book
without the sanction of the court or judge before whom
such civil proceeding shall have been had or shall be
pending.

(3) No such trustee, officer, factor or agent as is
referred to in this section, nor any other person expressly
exempted from conviction under the proviso to section
341, shall be enabled or entitled, by anything in this Code
contained, to refuse to make a full and complete discovery
by answer to any pleading, or to answer any question or
interrogatory in any court or upon the hearing of any
matter in bankruptcy or insolvency; nor shall any
proceeding, conviction or judgment, to be had or taken as
aforesaid against any person, prevent, lessen or impeach
any remedy at law or in equity which any party aggrieved
by any such offence as aforesaid might have had if this
Code had not been passed; but no conviction of any such
offender shall be received in evidence in any action at law
or suit in equity against him; and nothing in this Code
contained shall affect or prejudice any agreement entered
into or security given by any trustee having for its object
the restoration or repayment of any trust property
misappropriated.

TITLE xxiv
BURGLARY AND HOUSEBREAKING

361. In this Code —
(1) a person commits housebreaking if he unlawfully

breaks any building for the purpose of executing,
or of facilitating or abetting the execution of the
offence of stealing or any felony therein, by
himself or by any other person, for the purpose of
effecting or facilitating the escape therefrom of
himself or of any other person after the
commission of or attempt to commit the offence of
stealing or any felony therein;

No prosecution
to be commenced
without sanction
of civil court.

No exemption as
to answering
questions in any
suit or action. No
civil remedy shall
be affected.
Conviction shall
not be received in
civil suits.

Definition of
housebreaking.
17 of 1952, s. 2.

CH.84 – 190] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) a person breaks a building, if, for any of the
purposes hereinbefore mentioned in this section,
he uses any force or threat of force to any person
who is within the building, or causes damage to
anything which is in or forms part of the
building, or commences to force or undo or open
any lock, bolt, latch or other fastening, or opens
a closed door or window, or is aided in entering
or quitting the building by any person who is
therein, and who aids him for the purpose of
abetting the commission of the offence of
stealing or any felony therein by him or by any
other person;

(3) a person unlawfully enters or is in a building or
other place if he enters or is therein, as the case
may be, otherwise than in his own right or by
the consent of some other person able to give
consent for the purposes for which he enters or
is therein.

12 of 1984, s. 2 and Sch.

362. Whoever commits housebreaking shall be liable
to imprisonment for fourteen years.

363. Whoever commits housebreaking by night in the
case of a dwelling-house is guilty of burglary, and shall be
liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

364. Whoever unlawfully enters or is by night in any
building for the purpose of committing any indictable
offence therein, shall, if the offence is a felony, be liable to
imprisonment for seven years, or shall, if the offence is a
misdemeanour, be liable to imprisonment for seven years.

365. Whoever is found by night armed with any
offensive instrument with the purpose of committing
housebreaking or burglary, or is found by night having
in his possession, without lawful excuse, any tool,
implement or means contrived or adapted for house-
breaking, or unlawfully enters or is by night in any
building for the purpose of committing any crime
therein, or in any building adjoining or near thereto,
shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Definition of
breaking.

Definition of
unlawful entry.

House-breaking.
12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Burglary.
12 of 1984, s. 2
and Sch.

Entry into a
building by
night, etc.

Possession of
instrument for
burglary, etc.
See s. 210.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 191





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TITLE xxv
FORGERY AND FALSE COIN

366. Whoever with intent to defraud, or with intent to
defeat, obstruct or pervert the course of justice or the due
execution of the law, forges any document of any of the
following kinds, namely, any will, any document of title to
land, any judicial or official document, certificate or
record, any power of attorney, any bank-note, bill of
exchange, promissory note or other negotiable instrument,
any policy of insurance, or any cheque, post office money
order or other authority for the payment of money by a
person carrying on business as a banker, shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten years.

367. Whoever with intent to defraud any person to an
amount or value of more than five hundred dollars forges
any document whatsoever shall be liable to imprisonment
for seven years.

368. Whoever forges any document whatsoever with
intent to defraud or injure any person, or with intent to
defeat, obstruct, or pervert the course of justice or the due
execution of the law, or with intent to evade the
requirements of the law, or with intent to commit, or to
facilitate the commission of any offence, shall be liable to
imprisonment for three years.

369. Whoever —
(1) forges any stamp, whether impressed or adhe-

sive, used for postal or revenue purposes by the
Government, or by the Government of Great
Britain, or of Northern Ireland, or of any other
country of the Commonwealth or by any foreign
prince or state;

(2) without lawful excuse (the proof whereof shall
lie on him) makes or has knowingly in his
possession any die or instrument capable of
making the impression of any such stamp;

(3) fraudulently cuts, tears or in any way removes
from any material any stamp used for postal or
revenue purposes by the Government, with
intent that any use should be made of the stamp
or of any part thereof;

Forgery of will,
judicial or official
document, etc.
See s. 17.

Forgery of
document for
more than $500.
17 of 1952, s. 2;
27 of 1965, s. 2;
5 of 1987, Sch.
Forgery of other
document.
See ss. 193 and
469.

Forgery of, and
other offences
relating to
stamps.

See ss. 146, 194
and 195.
43 of 1964, Third
Sch.

CH.84 – 192] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(4) fraudulently mutilates any such stamp as last
aforesaid with intent that any use should be
made of any part of it;

(5) fraudulently fixes or places upon any material,
or upon any such stamp as last aforesaid, any
stamp or part of a stamp which, whether
fraudulently or not, has been cut, torn or in any
way removed from any other material or out of
or from any other stamp;

(6) fraudulently alters, erases or otherwise either
really or apparently removes from any stamped
material any cancellation, name, sum, date or
other matter or thing whatsoever written there-
on, with the intent that any use should be made
of the stamp;

(7) fraudulently cancels any such stamp, by writing
thereon or on any instrument to which the same
may be affixed; or

(8) knowingly and without lawful excuse (the proof
whereof shall lie upon him) has in his
possession any stamp or part of a stamp which
has been fraudulently cut, torn or otherwise
removed from any material, or any stamp which
has been fraudulently mutilated, or any stamped
material out of which any name, sum, date or
other matter or thing has been fraudulently
erased or otherwise either really or apparently
removed,

shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.
370. (1) Whoever is convicted of being a common

forger shall be liable to imprisonment for fifteen years.
(2) A person shall be deemed to be a common

forger —
(a) if he is proved to have used, or to have abetted

the use of, any means specially contrived or
adapted for purposes of forgery;

(b) if he is convicted of any forgery punishable
under this Code, after having been convicted of
any similar offence punishable under this Code;

Common
forging.

Definition of
common forger.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 193





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) if he is proved to have had in his possession,
custody or control at the same or at different
times, two or more documents which he knew to
have been forged, and by means of which he
purposed to commit any offence punishable
under this Code.

371. Whoever with intent to defraud counterfeits or
falsifies any coin, or imports or exports any counterfeited
or falsified coin shall be liable to imprisonment for five
years.

372. (1) Whoever impairs, diminishes or lightens any
coin, with intent that when so dealt with it may pass as
current coin, shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.

(2) Whoever without lawful excuse (the proof
whereof shall lie on him) has in his possession any filings
or clippings, gold or silver bullion, or gold or silver in dust,
solution or otherwise, produced or obtained by diminishing
or lightening any current gold or silver coin, knowing it to
have been so produced or obtained, shall be liable to
imprisonment for seven years.

373. (1) Whoever is convicted of being a common
coiner shall be liable to imprisonment for fifteen years.

(2) A person shall be deemed to be a common
coiner —

(a) if he is proved to have used, or to have abetted
the use of, any means specially contrived or
adapted for purposes of committing any crime
with respect to coin;

(b) if he is convicted of any crime with respect to
coin, after having been convicted of any similar
offence punishable under this Code;

(c) if he is proved to have had in his possession,
custody or control, at the same or at different
times, three or more coins which he knew to
have been counterfeited or falsified, and by
means of which he purposed to commit any
offence punishable under this Code.

374. Whoever without lawful excuse (the proof
whereof shall lie on him) has in his possession any
instrument or thing specially contrived or adapted for
purposes of forgery or of committing any crime relating to
coin, shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Counterfeiting
coin, etc., and
common coining.

Clipping, etc., of
coin and being in
possession of
clippings, etc.
16 of 1936, s. 7.



See s. 198.

Common coiner.

Definition of a
common coiner.

Being in
possession of
means of coining
or forging.
See s. 77.

CH.84 – 194] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

375. Whoever, with any of the intents mentioned in
this Title, utters or in any manner deals with or uses any
such document, stamp or coin as is in this Title mentioned,
knowing the same to be forged, counterfeited, or falsified,
as the case may be, or knowing the same not to be genuine,
shall be liable to the like punishment as if he had with that
intent forged, counterfeited or falsified, as the case may be,
the document, stamp or coin.

376. If any person, with intent to defraud, demands or
accepts for himself or for any other person, any money or
money’s worth as being due under or by virtue of any
document which he knows to be forged or not to be
genuine, he shall be liable to the same punishment, as if he
had forged the document with intent to defraud some
person of the money or money’s worth.

377. Whoever, with any of the intents mentioned in
this Title, has in his possession any document, stamp or
coin which is forged, counterfeited or falsified, or which he
knows not to be genuine, shall be liable to the like
punishment as if he had, with that intent, forged,
counterfeited or falsified, as the case may be, the
document, stamp or coin.

378. (1) If any person without due authority or excuse
(the proof whereof shall lie upon him) makes or has in his
possession for sale, or offers for sale or sells, any medal,
cast, coin or other like thing made wholly or partially of
metal or any metallic combination and resembling in size,
figure, and colour any current gold or silver coin, or having
thereon a device resembling any device on any gold or
silver coin, or being so formed that it can by gilding,
silvering, colouring, washing, or other like process, be so
dealt with as to resemble any gold or silver coin, he shall
be guilty of a misdemeanour, and on being convicted, shall
be liable to be imprisoned for one year.

(2) For the purposes of this section “current gold or
silver coin” means any gold or silver coin coined in any
mint belonging to the Government or the Central Bank of
The Bahamas, or for or on behalf of the Government or the
Central Bank of The Bahamas or lawfully current by virtue
of any law in force in The Bahamas or in any other part of
the Commonwealth, or lawfully current in any foreign
country.

See ss. 193 and
196.

Uttering forged
documents, etc.

Claiming upon
forged document.

See s. 193.

Possessing
forged document,
etc.

Punishments for
selling medals
resembling
current coin.
16 of 1936, s. 8.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 195





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

379. (1) If any person, with intent to defraud, forges
or alters any currency note, or, knowing any note
purporting to be a currency note to be forged or altered,
utters the same, he shall on conviction be liable to
imprisonment for ten years.

(2) If any person without lawful authority or excuse
(the proof whereof shall lie upon him) receives from any
other person or has in his possession any forged or altered
note purporting to be a currency note, knowing the same to
be forged or altered, or any unfinished or incomplete note
purporting to be a currency note issued by the
commissioners, he shall be liable on conviction to
imprisonment for five years.

380. (1) If any person without lawful authority or
excuse (the proof whereof shall lie upon him) —

(a) makes or uses or sells or exposes for sale, or
knowingly has in his possession —

(i) any instrument for the making of paper
with any words, device or distinction
peculiar to and appearing in the substance
of the paper used for currency notes;

(ii) any paper with any such words, device or
distinction as aforesaid;

(b) by any art or contrivance causes any such words,
device or distinction, or any words, device or
distinction intended to resemble and pass for the
same to appear visible in the substance of any
paper,

such person shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment
for five years.

(2) If any person without lawful authority or excuse
(the proof whereof shall lie upon him) —

(a) engraves or in any wise makes upon any plate
whatsoever, or upon any material, any note
purporting to be currency note or a part of a
currency note, or any name, word, number,
figure, device, character or ornament resembling
or apparently intended to resemble any signature
to a currency note;

Forgery.

Possession of
materials for
forging notes.

16 of 1936, s. 8.

CH.84 – 196] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) uses any such plate or material, or any other
instrument or device for the making or printing
of any currency note;

(c) knowingly has in his possession any such plate,
material, instrument or device;

(d) knowingly utters or has in his possession any
paper upon which an impression of any such
matter as aforesaid is made or printed,

such person shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment
for five years.

381. If any person without lawful authority or excuse
(the proof whereof shall lie upon him) mutilates or in any
way defaces a currency note, whether by writing, printing,
drawing or stamping thereon or by attaching or affixing
thereto anything in the nature or Form of an advertise-
ment, he shall on conviction be liable to a fine of five
hundred dollars.

382. (1) If any person makes or causes to be made or
uses for any purpose whatsoever or utters any document
purporting to be or in any way resembling, or so nearly
resembling as to be calculated to deceive, any currency
note or any part thereof, he shall be liable on conviction to
a fine of one hundred dollars in respect of each such
document and it shall be lawful for the court to order the
document in respect of which the offence was committed
and any copies of that document and any plates, block, dies
or other instruments used for or capable of being used for
printing or reproducing any such document which are in
the possession of such offender to be destroyed.

(2) If any person, whose name appears on any
document the making of which is an offence under this
section refuses to disclose to a police officer the name and
address of the persons by whom it was printed or made he
shall be liable on conviction to a fine of one hundred
dollars.

(3) Where the name of any person appears on any
document in respect of which any person is charged with
an offence under this section or on any other document
used or distributed in connection with that document it
shall be prima facie evidence that that person caused the
document to be made.

Mutilating or
defacing
currency notes.
16 of 1936, s. 8.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Imitation of
currency notes.

5 of 1987, Sch.

16 of 1936, s. 8.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 197





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

383. Whoever, with any of the intents mentioned in
this Title, causes any person, by duress, deceit, or in any
manner without his consent, to make, alter, cancel or injure
any such document as is in this Title mentioned, shall be
liable to the like punishment as if he had forged the
document with such intent.

384. Whoever with intent to defraud forges or
counterfeits any hallmark or mark appointed under
authority of law, by any corporation or public officer to
denote the weight, fineness or age, or place of manufacture
of any gold or silver plate or bullion, shall be liable to
imprisonment for two years.

385. Whoever fraudulently counterfeits, or imitates in
a manner calculated to deceive, any mark which under law
is impressed upon or otherwise made upon or affixed to
any chattel, or upon or to anything containing or connected
with such chattel, for the purpose of denoting the quality of
such chattel, or the fact that it has been tested or examined
and approved by or under the authority of any public body,
or by any public officer, shall be liable to imprisonment for
seven years.

386. (1) Whoever fraudulently counterfeits, or imi-
tates in a manner calculated to deceive, any mark
impressed or otherwise made upon or affixed to any
chattel, or upon or to anything containing or connected
with such chattel, which mark is by recognised practice
understood to denote that the thing marked has been
examined and certified to be of a particular quality by any
particular officer or person, whether such officer or person
be authorised by law or not so to certify, shall be liable to
imprisonment for two years.

(2) The provisions of this section and section 385
shall be in addition to the provisions concerning offences
punishable under the Trade Marks Act or under any Acts
passed in amendment thereof or in substitution therefor;
but so that a person is not twice punishable for the same act
or matter.

387. (1) If it shall be made to appear by information
on oath before a magistrate that there is reasonable cause to
believe that any person has in his custody or possession
without lawful authority or excuse —

Procuring,
making, etc., of
document by
force, etc.

Forging hallmark
on gold or silver
plate or bullion.

Imitating
authorised
marks.

Imitating
customary
marks.

Ch. 322.

Search warrants.
10 of 1959, s. 2.

CH.84 – 198] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) any currency note; or
(b) any implement for making paper or imitation of

the paper used for currency notes; or
(c) any material having thereon any words, forms,

devices or characters capable of producing or
intended to produce the impression of a bank
note; or

(d) any forged document, seal or die; or
(e) any machinery, implement, utensil or material

used or intended to be used for the forgery of
any such document,

the magistrate may grant a warrant to search for the same;
and if the same shall be found on search, it shall be lawful
to seize and carry it before a magistrate of the district in
which the warrant was issued, to be by him disposed of
according to law.

388. Where any forged currency note, or any machin-
ery, implement, utensil or material used or intended to be
used for the forgery of a currency note is lawfully seized
under a warrant granted in pursuance of section 387 or
otherwise, the currency note, machinery, implement,
utensil or material, as the case may be, shall be delivered
up to the Minister for Finance, or to any person authorised
by him for the purpose, by order of the court before which
the offender is tried, or if there is no trial, by order of a
magistrate.

TITLE xxvi
TREASON AND CRIMES AGAINST

THE SAFETY OF THE STATE
389. Whoever compasses, imagines, invents, devises

or intends any act, matter or thing, the compassing,
imagining, inventing, devising or intending whereof is
treason by the law of England for the time being in force,
and expresses, utters or declares such compassing,
imagination, invention, device or intention, by publishing
any printing or writing or by any overt act, or does any act
which, if done in England, would be deemed to be treason
according to the law of England for the time being in force,
shall be adjudged to be a traitor, and shall be liable to
suffer death.

Disposal of
forged currency
notes and plant
used for forging
currency notes.

10 of 1959, s. 2;
G.N. 172/1964.

Treason.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 199





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

390. Whoever knows of any treason and does not
forthwith reveal the same to the Governor-General or to
some justice of the peace, shall be guilty of misprision of
treason, and shall be liable to imprisonment for seven
years.

391. Whoever compasses, imagines, invents, devises
or intends any act, matter or thing, the compassing,
imagining, inventing, devising or intending whereof is
felony by the law of England for the time being in force,
and expresses, utters or declares such compassing,
imagination, invention, device or intention, by publishing
any printing or writing, or by open and advised speaking,
or by any overt act, shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

392. All the enactments, provisos, requirements and
limitations of the law of England for the time being in
force relating to treason, misprision of treason and treason
felony, shall be and the same are hereby declared to be
enactments, provisos, requirements and limitations of the
law of The Bahamas.

393. Any person who prepares or endeavours to
procure by force the setting up of an independent state in
any part of The Bahamas or the secession of any part of
The Bahamas from The Bahamas, shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding twenty years.

394. Whoever prepares or endeavours, by armed
force or the show of armed force, to procure an alteration
in the Government or laws or to resist the execution of the
laws, or to compel the Governor-General or any member of
the Senate, or the House of Assembly, or any person in
command of any military or naval forces or of any peace
officers, to do, or to abstain from doing, any act of a public
or official character shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

395. In this Title —
“import” includes to bring or cause to be brought into

The Bahamas by land, air or sea;
“periodical publication” includes every publication

issued periodically or in parts or numbers at
intervals whether regular or irregular;

Misprision of
treason.

Treason felony.

Application of
English law of
treason, etc.

Setting up
independent
state, etc.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Use of armed
force against the
Government, etc.

Interpretation as
to sedition.

21 of 1939, s. 6.

CH.84 – 200] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“publication” includes all written or printed matter
and everything whether of a nature similar to
written or printed matter or not, containing any
visible representation, or by its form, shape, or
in any manner capable of suggesting words or
ideas, and every copy and reproduction of any
publication;

“seditious publication” means a publication having a
seditious intention;

“seditious words” means any words having a
seditious intention.

A “seditious intention” is an intention —
(i) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite

disaffection against the person of Her Majesty,
Her Heirs or successors, or the Government of
The Bahamas as by law established; or

(ii) to excite Her Majesty’s subjects or inhabitants of
The Bahamas to attempt to procure the altera-
tion, otherwise than by lawful means, of any
other matter in The Bahamas as by law
established; or

(iii) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite to
disaffection against the administration of justice
in The Bahamas; or

(iv) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst Her
Majesty’s subjects or inhabitants of The Baha-
mas.

But an act, speech, or publication is not seditious by
reason only that it intends —

(a) to show that Her Majesty has been misled or
mistaken in any of her measures; or

(b) to point out errors or defects in the government
or constitution of The Bahamas as by law
established or in legislation or in the administra-
tion of justice with a view to the remedying of
such errors or defects; or

(c) to persuade Her Majesty’s subjects or inhabi-
tants of The Bahamas to attempt to procure by
lawful means the alteration of any matter in The
Bahamas as by law established; or

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 201





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(d) to point out, with a view to their removal, any
matters which are producing or have a tendency
to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between
different classes of the population of The
Bahamas:

Provided that, in determining whether the intention
with which any act was done, any words were spoken, or
any document was published, was or was not seditious,
every person shall be deemed to intend the consequences
which would naturally follow from his conduct at the time
and under the circumstances in which he so conducted
himself.

396. (1) Any person who —
(a) does or attempts to do, or makes any prepara-

tion to do, or conspires with any person to do,
any act with a seditious intention;

(b) utters any seditious words;
(c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes

or reproduces any seditious publication;
(d) imports any seditious publication, unless he has

no reason to believe that it is seditious,
shall be guilty of an offence and liable for a first offence to
imprisonment for two years or to a fine of one thousand
dollars or to both such imprisonment and fine, and for a
subsequent offence to imprisonment for three years; and
any seditious publication shall be forfeited to Her Majesty.

(2) Any person who without lawful excuse has in
his possession any seditious publication shall be guilty of
an offence and liable for a first offence to imprisonment for
one year or to a fine of five hundred dollars or to both such
imprisonment and fine, and for a subsequent offence to
imprisonment for two years; and such publication shall be
forfeited to Her Majesty.

(3) No prosecution for an offence under subsection
(1) or (2) of this section shall be begun except within six
months after the offence is committed.

(4) A person shall not be prosecuted for an offence
in contravention of subsection (1) or (2) of this section
without the written consent of the Attorney-General.

Sedition offences.

21 of 1939, s. 7.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

CH.84 – 202] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(5) No person shall be convicted of an offence under
subsection (1) or (2) of this section on the uncorroborated
testimony of one witness.

397. (1) If the Governor-General is of opinion that
the importation of any publication or of the publications of
any particular agency or institution would be contrary to
the public interest he may, by Order, prohibit the
importation of such publication or publications; and in the
case of a periodical publication he may, by the same or a
subsequent Order, prohibit the importation of any past or
future issue thereof.

(2) Any person who imports, publishes, sells, offers
for sale, distributes, or reproduces any publication, the
importation of which has been prohibited under subsection
(1) of this section, or any extract therefrom, shall be guilty
of an offence and liable, for a first offence to imprisonment
for two years or to a fine of one thousand dollars or to both
such imprisonment and fine, and for a subsequent offence
to imprisonment for three years; and such publication or
extract therefrom shall be forfeited to Her Majesty.

(3) Any person who without lawful excuse has in
his possession any publication the importation of which
has been prohibited under subsection (1) of this section, or
any extract therefrom, shall be guilty of an offence and
liable for a first offence to imprisonment for one year or to
a fine of five hundred dollars or to both such imprisonment
and fine, and for a subsequent offence to imprisonment for
two years; and such publication or extract therefrom shall
be forfeited to Her Majesty.

(4) Any person to whom any publication the
importation of which has been prohibited under subsection
(1) of this section, or any extract therefrom, is sent without
his knowledge or privity, or in response to a request made
before the prohibition of the importation of such publica-
tion came into effect, or who has such a publication or
extract therefrom in his possession at the time when the
prohibition of its importation comes into effect, shall
forthwith, or as soon as the nature of its contents have
become known to him, or, in the case of a publication or
extract therefrom coming into the possession of such
person before an Order prohibiting its importation has been
made, forthwith upon the coming into effect of an


Power to prohibit
the importation
of publication.
21 of 1939, s. 8;
29 of 1953, s. 2.

5 of 1987, Sch.

5 of 1987, Sch.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 203





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Order prohibiting the importation of such publication,
deliver such publication or extract therefrom to the officer
in charge of the nearest police station or a commissioner,
and in default thereof shall be guilty of an offence and
liable to imprisonment for one year or to a fine of five
hundred dollars or to both such imprisonment and fine; and
such publication or extract therefrom shall be forfeited to
Her Majesty.

(5) A person who complies with the provisions of
subsection (4) of this section or is convicted of an offence
under that subsection shall not be liable to be convicted for
having imported or having in his possession the same
publication or extract therefrom.

398. (1) Whoever intentionally and unlawfully aids or
permits the escape of a prisoner of war shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten years.

(2) Whoever negligently and unlawfully permits the
escape of a prisoner of war shall be liable to imprisonment
for two years.

399. Whoever, not being subject to any Articles of
War or Articles of the Navy, abets the commission of
mutiny by any person subject to such articles, shall be
liable to imprisonment for fifteen years.

400. Whoever, not being subject to any Articles of
War or Articles of the Navy, abets the desertion of or abets
any act of insubordination by, any person subject to such
articles, or abets the commission by any such person of any
assault upon a superior officer being in the execution of his
office, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

401. Whoever causes harm to himself, or procures
any other person to cause harm to him, for the purpose of
evading any liability to perform military or naval service or
duty, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

402. If three or more persons meet or are together for
the purposes of military training or exercise, without the
permission of the Governor-General or of some officer or
person authorised by law to give such permission, each of
them is guilty of a misdemeanour.

5 of 1987, Sch.

Aiding or
permitting escape
of prisoner of
war.

Abetment of
mutiny by soldier
or sailor.

Abetment of
desertion or
insubordination
by soldier or
sailor, or assault
on superior
officer.

Evasion of
military or naval
service.

Unlawful
training.

CH.84 – 204] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

403. (1) If any person is within The Bahamas
obtaining or attempting to obtain recruits for the service of
any foreign state in any capacity, the Governor-General
may by Order either prohibit such person from so doing, or
permit him to do so subject to any conditions which the
Governor-General thinks fit to impose.

(2) The Governor-General may from time to time,
by Order published in the Gazette, either prohibit recruiting
for the service of any foreign states, or impose upon such
recruiting any conditions which he thinks fit.

(3) Whoever, in violation of the prohibition of the
Governor-General or of any condition subject to which
permission to recruit may have been accorded —

(a) induces, or attempts to induce, any person to
accept, or agree to accept, or to proceed to any
place with a view to obtaining any commission
or employment in the service of any foreign
state;

(b) knowingly aids in the engagement of any person
so induced by forwarding or conveying him, or
by advancing money, or in any other way
whatever,

shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years, or to a fine
to such amount as the court thinks fit, or to both.

(4) In this section —
“foreign state” includes any person or persons

exercising, or assuming to exercise the powers
of the government in or over any country,
colony, province or people beyond the limits of
Her Majesty’s dominions.

404. Whoever is guilty of piracy, or of any crime
connected with or relating or akin to piracy, shall be liable
to be tried and punished according to the law of England
for the time being in force.

405. Any person who —
(a) meets, or is together with, two or more persons

any one or more of whom is armed with any
explosive, firearm or other offensive weapon or
dressed in uniform or with accoutrements of a
military nature;

(b) meets, or is together with, two or more persons
for military training or exercise; or

Recruiting may
be prohibited or
permitted.

Conditions may
be imposed by
Order.

Penalty for
violating Order.

Definition of
“foreign state”.
E.L.A.O., 1974.
E L A O 1974

Piracy.

Military
operations.
6 of 1971, s. 2.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 205





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) collects, stores or distributes explosives, firearms
or other offensive weapons, or uniforms, accou-
trements or other stores of a military nature,

in such circumstances as to give rise to reasonable
suspicion that his purpose is to coerce the Government of
The Bahamas, or the Government of any other country of
the Commonwealth or the Government of any foreign state
with which Her Majesty is at peace, or to make or facilitate
an invasion or an armed attack upon the territories of any
such country of the Commonwealth or foreign state, and
fails to satisfy the court that such was not his purpose, shall
be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty
years.

406. (1) Whoever takes, or administers, or attempts
or offers to administer to any other person, any unlawful
oath, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.

(2) In this section —
“unlawful oath” means any oath or engagement to

commit or abet any crime, or to conceal a
design to commit any crime, or to prevent the
discovery of any crime or the conviction of any
person for any crime, and any oath or
engagement to conceal the existence, purposes
or proceedings of any associations of persons
associated for any treasonable or seditious
purpose.

407. (1) Whoever, by means of his holding or having
held an office under the Queen, has lawfully or unlawfully
either obtained possession of or control over any docu-
ment, sketch, plan or model, or acquired any information,
and at any time corruptly or contrary to his official duty
communicates or attempts to communicate that document,
sketch, plan, model or information to any person to whom
it ought not, in the interest of the State or otherwise in the
public interest, to be communicated at that time, shall —

(a) if the communication was made or attempted to
be made to a foreign state, be liable to
imprisonment for fifteen years; or

(b) in any other case be guilty of a misdemeanour.
(2) This section shall apply to a person holding a

contract with the Government, or with the holder of any
office under the Queen as such holder, where the contract


Taking or
administering
unlawful oath.

Definition of
“unlawful oath.”

Breaches of
official trust.

CH.84 – 206] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

involves an obligation of secrecy; and also to any person
employed by any person holding such a contract; and the
person holding the contract and the person so employed are
under the like obligation of secrecy as if they were
respectively holders of an office under the Queen.

(3) A prosecution for an offence under this section
shall not be instituted except by the Attorney-General or
with his consent.

(4) In this section —
“communication” includes any communication

whether in whole or in part, and whether the
document, sketch, plan, model, or information
itself, or the substance or effect thereof only be
communicated;

“model” includes design, pattern and specimen;
“office under the Queen” includes any office or

employment in or under any department of the
Government; and, so far as regards any docu-
ment, sketch, plan, model, or information relat-
ing to the naval or military affairs of Her
Majesty, includes any office or employment in
or under any department of Her Majesty’s
Government;

“sketch” includes any photograph or other mode, or
representation of a place or thing.

Special Provisions
408. (1) A magistrate may issue a warrant empower-

ing a peace officer to enter upon and search for —
(a) any seditious publication as defined in section

395; or
(b) any publication the importation of which has

been prohibited under subsection (1) of section
397, in any premises where any such publication
or extract therefrom may be or may be reason-
ably suspected to be.

(2) Any of the following officers, that is to say —
(a) the Postmaster General or any officer authorised

by him in that behalf;
(b) the Comptroller of Customs or any officer

authorised by him in that behalf;

Search warrants
and power to
examine
packages.
21 of 1939, s. 9.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 207





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(c) any police officer, not below the rank of
Assistant Superintendent of Police;

(d) any other officer authorised by the Attorney-
General in that behalf,

may detain, open and examine any package or article
which he suspects to contain any publication or extract
therefrom which it is an offence under the provisions of
subsections (2) and (3) of section 397 to import, publish,
sell, offer for sale, distribute, reproduce or possess, and
during such examination may detain any person importing,
distributing or posting such package or article or in whose
possession such package or article is found.

(3) If any such publication or extract therefrom is
found in such package or article, the whole package or
article may be impounded and retained by the officer and
the person importing, distributing, or posting it, or in
whose possession it is found, may forthwith be arrested
and proceeded against for the commission of an offence
under subsection (2), (3) or (4) of section 397, as the case
may be.

TITLE xxvii
CRIMES AGAINST THE PUBLIC

PEACE
409. Whoever takes part in a riot is guilty of a

misdemeanour.
410. Whoever takes part in a riot, being armed with

any offensive instrument, shall be liable to imprisonment
for seven years.

411. Whoever takes part in an unlawful assembly
shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.

412. Whoever does any act with intent to provoke a
riot is guilty of a misdemeanour.

413. Whoever in rioting or taking part in an unlawful
assembly is guilty of any felony punishable under any of
the Titles xviii., xx., xxii., xxiii. or xxiv. of this Code, shall
be liable to imprisonment for a term which may exceed by
three years, the term to which he would otherwise be liable
under the provisions of such Title.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

Riot.
See s. 7

Rioting with
weapons.

See s. 79.

Unlawful
assembly.

Provocation of
riot.

Riot and felony.

See s. 87(2).

CH.84 – 208] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

414. (1) If, as is provided in Book I. of this Code,
proclamation is made commanding the persons engaged in
a riot, or unlawful assembly, to disperse, every person who,
at or after the expiration of one hour from the making of
such proclamation, takes or continues to take part in the
riot or assembly, shall be liable to imprisonment for five
years.

(2) Whoever forcibly prevents or obstructs the
making of such proclamation shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten years; and if the making of the
proclamation is so prevented, every person who, knowing
that it has been so prevented, takes or continues to take part
in the riot or assembly, shall be liable to imprisonment for
five years.

(3) Whoever assaults any magistrate, justice of the
peace, officer or person executing any duty or authority for
the suppression of a riot or for the dispersion or arrest of
any persons engaged in a riot, or unlawful assembly, shall
be liable to imprisonment for five years.

(4) No person shall be prosecuted for an offence
under this section, unless such prosecution be commenced
within twelve months after the offence is committed.

415. Whoever with violence makes any entry into
any building or land, whether he be entitled to the
possession thereof or not, is guilty of a misdemeanour,
unless he does so in pursuance of a warrant or other lawful
authority to use such violence.

416. Whoever, being unlawfully and without claim of
right in or upon any building or land, maintains or attempts
to maintain his possession or occupation thereof with
violence, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

417. Whoever does any act with intent to provoke
any other person to fight, whether in a public place or not,
with any deadly or dangerous instrument, and whoever
agrees or offers so to fight, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

418. Whoever unlawfully and maliciously threatens
any person with death or grievous harm, with intent to put
him in fear of death or grievous harm, is guilty of a
misdemeanour.

See ss. 80 and 81.

Rioting after
proclamation.

Preventing or
obstructing the
making of
proclamation.

Assaulting
magistrate, etc.,
in riot.

Forcible entry.

Forcible
detainer.

Challenging or
agreeing to fight
with weapons.
See s. 202.

Threat of death
or grievous harm.
See s. 203.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 209





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

419. Whoever by writing threatens any person with
death or grievous harm, or by writing threatens the
commission of arson or of any felony punishable under
Title xxii. of this Code, shall be liable to imprisonment for
ten years.

420. Whoever uses any violence with intent to deter
any person from acting in any manner as a judge,
magistrate, juror, witness, counsel, agent, prosecutor or
party in any legal proceeding or enquiry or from acting in
execution of his duty as a magistrate or peace officer, or in
any judicial or official capacity, or from having recourse to
any court or public officer, or on account of his having so
acted or had recourse, shall be liable to imprisonment for
four years.

421. Whoever unlawfully and with violence obstructs
the assembly of any persons for any lawful purpose or
disturbs any such assembly, or with violence disperses or
attempts to disperse any such assembly, is guilty of a
misdemeanour.

422. Whoever with violence or by deceit hinders or
obstructs any public or peace officer or other person acting
or proceeding to act in the execution of any public office or
duty, or in the execution of any warrant or legal process, is
guilty of a misdemeanour.

TITLE xxviii
PERJURY AND PERVERSION OF

JUSTICE
Perjury and Similar Crimes

423. In this Code —
(1) perjury is an assertion as to a matter of fact,

opinion, belief or knowledge made by a witness
in a judicial proceeding as part of his evidence,
either upon oath or in any form allowed by law
to be substituted for an oath, whether such
evidence is given in open court or by affidavit or
otherwise, such assertion being known to the
witness to be false, and being intended by him to
mislead the court, jury or persons holding the
proceeding;

Threat by
writing.

Violence against
judges, etc., in
legal proceeding.
See ss. 239, 247
and 265.

Disturbance of
lawful assembly.

See ss. 247 and
265.

Obstructing
public or peace
officer.

Definition of
“perjury”.

CH.84 – 210] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) every person is a witness within the meaning of
this Title who actually gives his evidence upon
oath or in any such form as aforesaid, whether
he was competent to be a witness or not, and
whether his evidence was admissible or not;

(3) a person fabricates evidence if he causes any
circumstance to exist, or makes any false entry
in any book, account or record, or makes any
document containing a false statement, or forges
any document, with intent to mislead any public
officer, judge, magistrate, juror, or member of a
tribunal acting in any judicial proceeding;

(4) every proceeding is judicial within the meaning
of this Title which is held in, or under, the authority of a
court or before any justice of the peace or any arbitrator or
umpire, or any person or body of persons authorised by law
to make an enquiry and take evidence therein upon oath, or
before any person, or body of persons, acting as a court,
commission of enquiry or tribunal having power to hold
such judicial proceeding or enquiry whether duly
constituted or not, and whether such proceeding or enquiry
was duly instituted or not so as to authorise the holding of
the same, and although the proceeding or enquiry, was held
in the wrong place or was otherwise invalid.

424. Whoever commits perjury shall be liable to
imprisonment for ten years.

425. Whoever commits perjury with intent to cause
the conviction of any person for any crime punishable with
death, shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

426. Whoever fabricates evidence, with intent to
defeat, obstruct or pervert the course of justice in any
proceeding, shall be liable to the same penalties as if he
had committed perjury in that proceeding.

427. Whoever, in any declaration made in pursuance
of any Act shall wilfully or corruptly declare to the truth of
any matter material to be stated in such declaration,
knowing the matter so declared to be false, shall be liable
to the same penalties as if he had committed perjury.

Definition of
“witness.”

Definition of
“fabrication”.

See s. 82.

Definition of
“judicial
proceeding” for
purposes of this
Title.

Perjury.

Perjury on trial
for capital crime.

Fabrication of
evidence.

False
declarations.

See ss. 243, 452
and 486.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 211





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

. 337-8, 341 and 455.
428. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully falsifies,

destroys, injures, removes or conceals any public register
of marriages, births, baptisms, deaths or burials, or any
other public register or record, or any will or any document
of title to land, with intent to defeat, obstruct or pervert the
course of justice, or to defraud or injure any person, shall
be liable to imprisonment for twenty years.

429. Whoever unlawfully, with intent to defeat,
obstruct or pervert the course of justice, or to defraud or
injure any person, removes, conceals, injures or alters any
instrument or document used or intended to be used in any
judicial proceeding shall be liable to imprisonment for two
years.

430. Whoever acknowledges or consents to any
judgment or confession of a cause of action, or
acknowledges any deed to be enrolled or registered, or
enters into any recognisance or bail (whether the same to
be filed or not), in the name of any other person without his
consent, is guilty of felony.

431. Whoever with intent to defeat, obstruct or
pervert the course of justice, or to defraud or injure any
person, endeavours to deceive any court, or any judicial
officer by personation, or by any false instrument,
document, seal or signature, shall be liable to
imprisonment for five years.

432. Whoever, with intent to defeat, obstruct or
pervert the course of justice, or the due execution of the
law, or to evade the requirements of the law, or to defraud
or injure any person, endeavours to deceive any public
officer acting in the execution of any public office or duty,
by personation or by any false instrument, document, seal
or signature, or by any false statement, whether verbal or in
writing, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

433. Whoever fraudulently brings any action against
another person in a false or fictitious name, having no
ground for such action, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

434.


See ss. 337-8,
341 and 455.

Destruction, etc.,
of public register,
etc.

Removal, etc., of
document used in
judicial
proceeding.

Fraudulent
acknowledgement
of judgment, etc.

Deceit of court
by personation,
etc.

Deceit of public
officer.
See s. 243.

Bringing
fictitious action.

Repealed by 6 of
2006, s. 31.

CH.84 – 212] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008


435.
436. Whoever without reasonable excuse makes

default in obeying any summons, process or order lawfully
issued or made for his attendance or for his examination on
oath as a witness in any judicial proceeding, or for the
production by him of any written or other evidence in any
judicial proceeding is guilty of a misdemeanour.

437. Whoever with intent to prevent, obstruct or
delay the taking of any inquest upon the body or touching
the death of any person, or to defeat the ends of justice,
buries or in any manner conceals or disposes of the body,
shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

438. (1) Whoever, being under a duty as a magistrate,
coroner, gaoler, peace officer, or in any other capacity, to
give any notice or take any measures in order to the
holding of an inquest upon the body or touching the death
of any person, wilfully and without reasonable excuse fails
to perform the duty, shall be liable to imprisonment for two
years.

(2) A prosecution for an offence under this section
shall not be instituted except by the Attorney-General or
with his consent.

439. Whoever with force, threats or tumult, hinders,
interrupts or disturbs the proceeding of any court, or
wilfully or unlawfully, with force, threats or tumult,
hinders any person from entering or quitting any court, or
removes him therefrom, or detains him therein, shall be
liable to imprisonment for two years.

440. Whoever in the presence of any court is guilty of
contempt of the court by any insulting, opprobrious or
menacing acts or words, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Repealed by 6 of
2006, s. 31.

See s. 241.

Disobedience to
summons as
witness.

Hindrance of
inquest.

Neglect to hold
inquest, etc.

Disturbance of
court.

See ss. 206(2)
and 239.

Insulting court.

See s. 239.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 213





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

441. Whoever, pending any proceedings in any court,
publishes in writing or otherwise anything concerning the
proceedings or any party thereto, with intent to excite any
popular prejudice for or against any party to the
proceedings, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

Rescue, Escape, Compounding Crime, etc.
442. Whoever endeavours to resist or prevent the

execution of the law —
(1) by resisting the lawful arrest of himself or of any

other person for crime; or
(2) by rescuing any other person, or aiding any

other person to escape from lawful custody for
crime, if the crime is punishable with death or
with imprisonment for more than seven years,
shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years, or
if the crime is punishable with imprisonment for
not more than seven years, shall be liable to
imprisonment for five years, or, if the crime is a
misdemeanour, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

443. Whoever endeavours to resist or prevent the
execution of the law —

(1) by resisting the lawful arrest of himself or of any
other person for any cause other than crime;

(2) by rescuing any other person from lawful
custody for any cause other than crime; or

(3) by rescuing any goods or things from any public
officer or peace officer or other person having
the possession, custody or care thereof under or
by virtue of any lawful warrant or process,

is guilty of a misdemeanour.
444. (1) Whoever, being in lawful custody for crime,

or under any sentence of imprisonment, endeavours to
resist or prevent the execution of the law by escaping or
permitting himself to be rescued, shall be liable to
imprisonment for two years.

(2) Where a person in lawful custody under any
sentence of imprisonment escapes, the time during which
he is at large shall not be taken into account in computing
the term of his original sentence.

Exciting
prejudice as to
proceeding
pending in court.

See s. 250.

Rescue of
criminal.

Rescue in other
cases.

Escape.

See s. 250.

See s. 250.

CH.84 – 214] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

445. Whoever having the custody of a prisoner
knowingly and wilfully allows him to escape, shall be
liable to imprisonment for three years; and whoever having
the custody of a prisoner through negligence allows him to
escape shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.

446. Whoever endeavours by force to prevent the
execution of any person sentenced to death shall be liable
to imprisonment for fifteen years.

447. Whoever, being lawfully commanded by any
public officer, peace officer or other person to give aid for
the prevention of crime, or for arresting any person, or for
preventing the rescue or escape of any person, refuses or
neglects to give such aid according to his ability is guilty of
a misdemeanour.

448. Whoever, knowing or having reason to believe,
that any person has committed or has been convicted of
any crime, aids, conceals or harbours the person, with the
purpose of enabling him to avoid lawful arrest or the
execution of his sentence, shall, if the crime is punishable
with death or with imprisonment for ten years or upwards,
be liable to imprisonment for five years, or shall if the
crime is a felony other than aforesaid, be liable to
imprisonment for two years, or shall, if the crime is a
misdemeanour, be liable to imprisonment for six months.

449. (1) Whoever, without leave of a court or other
public authority empowered by law to grant such leave,
compounds any crime, shall, if the crime is a felony, be
liable to imprisonment for two years, or shall, if the crime
is a misdemeanour, be liable to imprisonment for six
months.

(2) A person compounds a crime if he offers or
agrees to forbear from prosecuting or giving evidence
against a person on a criminal charge, in consideration of
money, or of any other valuable thing, or of any advantage
whatsoever to himself or to any other person.

See s. 250.

Permitting
escape.

Preventing
execution of
person sentenced
to death.
Refusal or
neglect to aid
public officer,
etc., in
prevention of
crime.
See ss. 88 and
246.

Harbouring
criminal.
See s. 250.

Compounding
crime.
See s. 259.

Definition of
compounding.

See s. 258.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 215





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TITLE xxix
CRIMES RELATING TO PUBLIC

OFFICES AND TO PUBLIC
ELECTIONS

450. Whoever without lawful excuse refuses to serve
in any public office in which he is bound to serve, and for
the refusal to serve in which no penalty or punishment is
provided by any statute, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

451. Whoever pretends to be or acts as a public
officer or juror, not being lawfully authorised to act as such
officer or juror, and in or under colour of that assumed
character does or attempts to do, or procures or attempts to
procure any person to do or abstain from doing, any act
whatsoever is guilty of a misdemeanour, unless he shows
either —

(1) that he so pretended or acted under a mistake of
law or of fact; or

(2) in the case of a person acting as a public officer,
that he so acted in good faith for the public
benefit.

452. Whoever, in order that he may obtain or be
qualified to act in any public office or to vote at any public
election, makes, signs, publishes or uses any declaration,
statement or oath required by law in such case, or any
certificate or testimonial as to his conduct or services, or as
to any other matter which is material for the obtaining by
him of the office, or for his qualification to act in the office
or to vote at the election, shall, if he does so, knowing that
the declaration, statement, oath, certificate, or testimonial
is false in any material particular, be liable to imprison-
ment for two years and is guilty of a misdemeanour.

453. (1) Every public officer or juror who is guilty of
corruption, or of wilful oppression, or of extortion, in
respect of the duties of his office, commits a misdemeanour
and shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

(2) A public officer or juror is guilty of wilful
oppression in respect of the duties of his office if he
wilfully commits any excess or abuse of his authority, to
the injury of the public or of any person.

See s. 258.

Refusal to serve
in public office.

Falsely
pretending to be
public officer or
juror, etc.
See s. 245.

Making false
declaration, etc.,
for office or
voting.
See ss. 257 and
427.

Corruption, etc.,
by public officer
or juror.
See ss. 240 and
472 to 477.

Explanation as to
oppression.

CH.84 – 216] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) A public officer is guilty of extortion who,
under cover of his office, demands or obtains from any
person, whether for public purposes or for himself or any
other person, any money or valuable consideration which
he knows that he is not lawfully authorised to demand or
obtain, or at a time at which he knows that he is not
lawfully authorised to demand the same.

454. Every public officer who, being bound or
authorised as such officer, to attest or certify, by writing or
otherwise, any document or matter, or that an event has or
has not happened, attests or certifies the document or
matter, knowing the same to be false in any material
particular, or attests or certifies that the event has happened
or has not happened, as the case may be, without knowing
or having reason to believe that the same has happened or
has not happened, as the case may be, according to his
attestation or certificate, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

455. Every public officer who intentionally and
unlawfully destroys, injures, falsifies, or conceals any
document which is in his possession, custody, or control,
or to which he has access, by virtue of his office, is guilty
of a misdemeanour.

456. Any officer of the post office who, for any
purposes whatsoever, secretes, or destroys a postal packet
in course of transmission by post, shall be liable to
imprisonment for seven years, or, If the postal packet
contains any chattel or money, or valuable security, to
imprisonment for twenty years.

457. (1) Any officer of the post office who, contrary
to his duty, opens or procures or suffers to be opened any
postal packet in course of transmission by post, or wilfully
detains or delays, or procures or suffers to be detained or
delayed any such postal packet, is guilty of a
misdemeanour.

(2) Nothing in this section shall extend to the opening,
detaining, or delaying of a postal packet returned for want of
a true direction, or returned by reason that the person to
whom the same is directed is dead or cannot be found, or
shall have refused the same, or shall have refused or


Explanation of
extortion.

Giving of false
certificate by
public officer.

Destruction, etc.,
of document by
public officer.
See ss. 337, 350
and 428.

Destruction, etc.,
by officer of post
office of postal
packet.
See ss. 255, 335
and 342.

Opening or
delaying of
postal packets.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 217





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

neglected to pay the postage thereof, or to the opening or
detaining or delaying of a postal packet under the authority
of the laws relating to the post office or in obedience to an
express order in writing under the hand of the Governor-
General.

458. (1) Any officer of the post office who grants or
issues any money order with a fraudulent intent, shall be
liable to imprisonment for seven years.

(2) If any officer of the post office re-issues a
money order previously paid, he shall be deemed to have
issued the order with a fraudulent intent under this section.

459. Whoever, being employed or engaged in any
capacity whatsoever in or about a telegraph station or
office, and contrary to his duty, discloses or in any way
makes known or intercepts the contents or any part of the
contents of any message transmitted or received to or at
any such station or office is guilty of a misdemeanour and
shall be liable to imprisonment for one year.

460. Whoever unlawfully or maliciously in any
manner whatsoever, prevents or obstructs or attempts to
prevent or obstruct the sending, conveying or delivering of
any telegraphic communication, is guilty of a
misdemeanour.

461. Every officer of a prison who uses any kind of
torture to a prisoner, or who is guilty of cruelty to a
prisoner, or who intentionally and unlawfully causes any
harm to a prisoner, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

462. Whoever corrupts or attempts to corrupt any
person in respect of any duties as a public officer or juror is
guilty of a misdemeanour.

463. Whoever accepts, or agrees or offers to accept,
any valuable consideration under pretence or colour of
having unduly influenced, or of agreeing or being able so
to influence, any person in respect of his duties as a public
officer or juror, is guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be
liable to imprisonment for one year.

464. Whoever, otherwise than in the due execution of
his duties as a judicial officer or juror, makes or offers to
make any agreement with any person as to the judgment or


G.N. 172/1964;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Issuing money
order with
fraudulent intent.

See s. 350.
Disclosure by
employee at
telegraph station
or office.

See s. 256.

Obstruction of
telegraphic
service.

Oppression by
officer of prison.

See ss. 472 et seq.

Corrupting
public officer or
juror.

Accepting bribe
to influence
public officer or
juror.

Corrupt promise
by judicial
officer or juror.

CH.84 – 218] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

verdict which he will or will not give as a judicial officer
or juror in any pending or future proceeding, is guilty of a
misdemeanour and shall be liable to imprisonment for one
year.

465. Whoever, with a purpose of procuring any
undue advantage or disadvantage to any party to any
judicial proceeding, procures himself or any other person
to be summoned, empanelled or sworn as a juror in the
proceeding, or endeavours to prevent any other person
from being summoned, empanelled or sworn as a juror in
the proceeding, is guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be
liable to imprisonment for one year.

466. Whoever is a party to or abets the unlawful sale
or purchase of any public office, or the making of any
unlawful and corrupt bargain or transaction with respect to
an appointment to a public office, or with respect to the
profits of a public office, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

467. Whoever attempts to prevent, obstruct or disturb
any public election by any kind of force, violence or
threats, or by any act which is a crime punishable under
this Code, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

468. (1) Whoever is guilty of corruption,
intimidation, or personation in respect of a public election,
is guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable to
imprisonment for nine months, and shall, during seven
years from the date of his conviction, be incapable of
voting at any public election and of holding the public
office in respect of which the election was held, or any
public office of the same nature.

(2) A person is guilty of intimidation at a public
election if he endeavours to influence the conduct of any
voter in respect of the election by a threat of any evil
consequence to be caused to him, or to any other person,
on account of his conduct as such voter.

469. Whoever forges or falsifies, or intentionally and
unlawfully injures or destroys, any voting paper or other
similar thing, or intentionally and unlawfully injures or
destroys any ballot box, polling booth or other apparatus or
thing used for the purposes of a public election is guilty of
a misdemeanour.

See ss. 473 to
477.

Corrupt selection
of juror.

Unlawful sale or
purchase of
office.
See s. 471.

Prevention, etc.,
of election by
force, etc.
See s. 478.

Corruption,
intimidation, and
personation in
respect of
election.
See ss. 472 to
477.

Definition of
intimidation.

Forging, etc.,
voting paper, etc.
See s. 368.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 219





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

470. Whoever, being a public officer, charged with
the counting of votes or the making of a return at any
public election, wilfully falsifies the account of such votes
or makes a false return shall be liable to imprisonment for
five years.

Definitions and Special Provisions
471. (1) The provisions of the section of this Title for

prohibiting the sale or purchase of a public office, or
relating to corrupt bargains or transactions in respect of
public offices, extend to every civil public office, the sale
and purchase whereof is not authorised by any Act or by
rules lawfully made respecting such office by some person
having authority to make the same.

(2) For the purposes of the said section, “corrupt
bargain or transaction” includes any agreement, not made
with such sanction as aforesaid, for the giving or receipt by
any person of any valuable consideration for nominating or
appointing a person to an office, or for procuring, soliciting
or recommending the nomination or appointment of a
person to an office, or for resigning or procuring the
resignation of an office, or for any promise, offer or
endeavour to do any such act as hereinbefore in this section
mentioned, and includes any agreement, not made with
such sanction as aforesaid, for paying to any person, or
permitting any person to retain or receive, the whole or any
part of the salary, fees or other remuneration or benefits of
an office.

472. A person is guilty of corrupting a public officer,
juror, or voter in respect of the duties of his office or in
respect of his vote, if he endeavours directly or indirectly
to influence the conduct of the public officer, juror or voter
in respect of the duties of his office or in respect of his
vote, by the gift, promise or prospect of any valuable
consideration to be received by the public officer, juror or
voter, or by any other person, from any person
whomsoever.

473. A public officer, juror or voter is guilty of
corruption in respect of the duties of his office or vote, if he
directly or indirectly agrees or offers to permit his conduct as
such officer, juror or voter to be influenced by the gift,


Falsification of
return at election.

E.L.A.O., 1974

Special provision
as to sale and
purchase of
office.

See s. 466.

Explanation as to
corruption of
public officer,
etc.
See ss. 453 and
462.

Explanation as to
corruption by
public officer,
etc.

See s. 464.

CH.84 – 220] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

promise or prospect of any valuable consideration to be
received by him, or by any other person, from any person
whomsoever.

474. It is immaterial for the purpose of either of
section 472 or 473, that the person respecting whose
conduct the endeavour, agreement, or offer therein
mentioned is made is not yet, at the time of the making of
the endeavour, agreement or offer, such a public officer,
juror or voter, if the endeavour, agreement or offer is made
in the expectation that he will or may become or act as
such officer, juror, or voter.

475. It is immaterial, for the purposes of any of
sections 472 to 474, whether the act to be done by a person
in consideration or in pursuance of any such gift, promise,
prospect, agreement, or offer as therein mentioned be in
any manner criminal or wrongful otherwise than by reason
of the provisions of the said sections.

476. If, after a person has done any act as a public
officer, juror, or voter, he secretly accepts, or agrees or
offers secretly to accept for himself or for any other person,
any valuable consideration on account of such act, he shall
be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been
guilty of corruption within the meaning of this Title, in
respect of such act before the doing thereof.

477. If, after a public officer, juror or voter has done
any act as such officer, juror or voter, any other person
secretly agrees or offers to give to or procure for him or for
any other person any valuable consideration on account of
such act, the person so agreeing or offering shall be
presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been guilty
of having, before the doing of the act, corrupted such
public officer, juror or voter in respect of the act.

478. No person shall be relieved from any liability to
punishment under this Title by reason of any irregularity or
informality in the proceedings at or preliminary or
subsequent to an election.

479. The provisions of this Title relating to public
elections shall be in addition to the provisions relating to
offences punishable under the Parliamentary Elections Act
and any other Acts for regulating the election of members


Special
explanation as to
corruption of and
by public officer,
etc.

Corrupt
agreement for
lawful act.

Acceptance of
bribe by public
officer, etc., after
doing act.

See ss. 453 and
464.

Promise of bribe
to public officer,
etc., after act
done.

Explanation as to
an election.

Ch. 7.

Provisions
additional to
those of other
Acts.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 221





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

to serve in the House of Assembly of The Bahamas; but so
that a person is not twice punished for the same act or
matter.

TITLE xxx
BIGAMY AND SIMILAR CRIMES

480. In this Code —
(1) a person commits bigamy who, knowing that a

marriage subsists between him or her and any
person, goes through the ceremony of marriage
with some other person:

Provided that a person accused of bigamy
shall be acquitted if at the time of the subsequent
marriage his former wife or former husband has
been continually absent from him or her for
seven years, and has not been heard of by him or
her as being alive within that time, and if before
the subsequent marriage he or she informs the
other party thereto of the facts of the case so far
as they are known to him or her;

(2) upon proof by the accused person of such
continued absence and information as aforesaid,
it shall lie on the prosecution to prove that the
former wife or husband has been heard of as
aforesaid;

(3) and where for the purposes of this Title, it is
requisite to prove a former marriage of any
person, it shall be requisite and sufficient to
prove a marriage, wheresoever and howsoever
celebrated, which would be admitted by the
court as a valid marriage for the purposes of any
civil proceeding, or for the purposes of the
administration or distribution of the effects of a
person upon his decease;

(4) in like manner, where a person accused of
bigamy defends himself or herself on the ground
of a divorce from a former wife or husband, any
such divorce (and no other) shall be deemed
sufficient as would be admitted by the court as a
valid divorce from the bond of marriage.

Definition of and
special provision
as to bigamy.

Mode of proving
marriage or
divorce.

CH.84 – 222] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

481. Whoever is guilty of bigamy shall be liable to
imprisonment for seven years.

482. Whoever, being unmarried, goes through the
ceremony of marriage with a person whom he or she
knows to be married to another person is guilty of a
misdemeanour, whether the other party to the ceremony
has or has not such guilty knowledge as to be guilty of
bigamy.

483. Whoever goes through the ceremony of mar-
riage, or any ceremony which he or she represents to be a
ceremony of marriage, knowing that the marriage is void
on any ground, and that the other person believes it to be
valid, shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years.

484. Whoever personates any other person in mar-
riage, or marries under a false name or description, with
intent to deceive the other party to the marriage, shall be
liable to imprisonment for seven years.

485. Whoever performs or witnesses as a marriage
officer the ceremony of marriage, knowing that he is not
duly qualified to do so, or that any of the matters required
by law for the validity of the marriage has not happened or
been performed, so that the marriage is void or unlawful on
any ground, shall be liable to imprisonment for seven
years.

486. Whoever in any declaration, certificate, licence,
document or statement required by law to be made or
issued for the purposes of a marriage, declares, enters,
certifies or states any material matter which is false, shall,
if he does so without having taken reasonable means to
ascertain the truth or falsity of the matter, be liable to
imprisonment for one year, or shall, if he does so knowing
that the matter is false, be liable to imprisonment for five
years.

487. Whoever endeavours to prevent a marriage by
pretence that his consent thereto is required by law, or that
any person whose consent is so required does not consent,
or that there is any legal impediment to the performing of
the marriage, shall, if he does so knowing that such
pretence is false or without having reason to believe that it
is true, be liable to imprisonment for two years.

Bigamy.

Marriage with a
person previously
married.

Fictitious
marriage.

Personation in
marriage.

Unlawfully
performing
marriage
ceremony.

Making false
declaration, etc.,
for marriage.

See s. 427.

False pretence of
impediment to
marriage.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 223





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

488. Whoever with intent to defeat, obstruct or
pervert the law with respect to inheritance or succession, or
with intent to defraud or injure any person, falsely pretends
that a child, whether living or dead, is a legitimate child, or
substitutes one child, whether living or dead, legitimate or
illegitimate, for another child, whether living or dead,
legitimate or illegitimate, shall be liable to imprisonment
for ten years.

TITLE xxxi
CRIMINAL PUBLIC NUISANCES

489. Whoever publishes, sells, or offers for sale any
blasphemous or obscene book, writing or representation,
shall be liable to imprisonment for two years:

Provided that no one shall be convicted under this
section for publishing any opinion on religious subjects
expressed in good faith and in decent language, or for
attempting to establish by arguments used in good faith and
conveyed in decent language any opinion on a religious
subject.

Illustrations

(1) A. publishes a book for the use of physicians or surgeons, or
persons seeking medical or surgical information. Whatever may be the
subjects with which the book deals, if they are treated with as much
decency as the subject admits, A. is not guilty of an offence against this
section.

(2) B. publishes extracts from the book mentioned in the last
illustration arranged or printed in such a manner as to give unnecessary
prominence to indecent matters. If the court or jury think that such
publication is calculated unnecessarily and improperly to excite
passion, or to corrupt morals, B. ought to be convicted.

490. Whoever publicly and wilfully commits any
grossly indecent act is guilty of a misdemeanour.

491. Whoever unlawfully hinders the burial of the
dead body of any person, or without lawful authority in
that behalf disinters, dissects or harms the dead body of
any person or, being under a duty to cause the dead body of
any person to be buried, fails to perform the duty, is guilty
of a misdemeanour.

See s. 348.

Substitution of
child.

Publication or
sale of
blasphemous or
obscene libel.
See ss. 208(5)
and 254(1)(b).

See s. 212(12).

Committing
grossly indecent
act.

Hindering burial
of dead body,
etc.

CH.84 – 224] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

492. Whoever, with intent to cause any public alarm
or disturbance, publishes, or attempts to cause the
publication of, any news or telegram which he knows or
believes to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanour.

493. Whoever sells, or prepares or offers for sale, as
being fit for consumption as food or drink, anything which
he knows or has reason to believe to be in such a condition,
from putrefaction, adulteration or other cause, as to be
likely to be obnoxious to health, is guilty of a misdemea-
nour.

494. (1) Whoever without lawful authority or excuse
(the proof whereof shall lie on him) commits any of the
following nuisances, namely —

(a) so carries on any noxious, offensive or noisy
business at any place, or causes or permits any
noxious or offensive matter to be collected or
continued at any place, or so keeps any animals
at any place, as to impair or endanger the health
of the public inhabiting or using the neighbour-
hood of the place, or as to cause material
damage to their lands, crops, cattle or goods, or
as to cause material interruption to them in their
lawful business or occupations, or as materially
to affect the value of their property;

(b) so makes, keeps or uses any explosive matter, or
any collection of water, or any other dangerous
or destructive thing, or any building, excavation,
open pit or other structure, work or place, or so
keeps any animal or permits it to be at large, as
to cause danger of harm or damage to the
persons or property of the public;

(c) causes damage to, or any obstruction to the
public use of, any public way or work, or any
navigable water, well, spring or reservoir, so as
to deprive the public of the benefit thereof; or

(d) corrupts or fouls the water of any public well,
tank, spring or reservoir, used by man for
drinking or domestic purposes or for manufac-
turing food or drink for the use of man or beast,

Publishing false
news.

Selling, etc.,
unwholesome
food.

Carrying on of
noxious trade,
and other
interferences with
public rights.

See s. 217.

PENAL CODE [CH.84 – 225





[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

shall be liable to fine, and shall, upon conviction for a
continuance or repetition of any such offence, be liable to
imprisonment for six months.

(2) The following provisions shall have effect with
respect to the nuisance of carrying on a noxious, offensive
or noisy business, at any place, or of causing or permitting
noxious or offensive matter to be collected or continued at
any place, or of keeping animals at any place as mentioned
in this section, namely —

(a) “business” includes not only any trade, manu-
facture, work, business or occupation carried on
for gain, but also any continued or frequent
repetition of any act or series of acts of any kind;
and

(b) it is necessary, in order that a person may be
punishable in respect of any such nuisance, that
the prejudice or danger caused thereby should
extend to persons inhabiting or occupying, under
separate tenancies, not less than three houses or
other tenements.

(3) A person shall not be deemed to be guilty,
within the meaning of this section, of obstructing the
public use of any public way or work by reason only of his
being a party to any meeting assembled in or upon or near
any public way or work, unless the purposes of the meeting
are or include the obstruction of the public by force or
threats or show of force.

(4) The provisions of section 493 and of this section
regarding any noxious business shall be in addition to the
provisions concerning offences punishable under the
Public Market and Slaughterhouse Act or any Act passed
in amendment thereof or in substitution therefor; but so
that a person is not twice punishable for the same act or
matter.

495. (1) Whoever sends or attempts to send a postal
packet which either —

(a) encloses any explosive substance, any dangerous
substance, any filth, any noxious or deleterious
substance, any sharp instrument not properly
protected, or any article or thing whatsoever
which is likely to injure either other postal
packets in course of conveyance or an officer of
the post office;

Explanation as to
carrying on of
noxious trade,
etc.

Explanation as to
obstruction of
public way.

Ch. 240.

Sending by post
explosive,
inflammable or
deleterious
substance or
indecent prints,
words, etc.
See s. 254.

CH.84 – 226] PENAL CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) encloses any indecent or obscene print, painting,
photograph, lithograph, engraving, book or card,
or any indecent or obscene article, whether
similar to the above or not; or

(c) has on the packet, or on the cover thereof any
words, marks or designs of an indecent, obscene
or grossly offensive character,

shall be liable to imprisonment for twelve months.
(2) The detention in the post office of any postal

packet on the ground of its being in contravention of this
section shall not exempt the sender thereof from any
proceedings which might have been taken if the packet had
been delivered in due course of post.

TITLE xxxii
CONCLUDING PROVISIONS,

REPEALS, ETC.
496. (1) A reference in any other Act to any offence

under the law as it existed before the commencement of
this Code shall be deemed to be a reference to any
corresponding offence under this Code.

(2) A reference in this Code to any offence under this
Code shall be deemed to be a reference to any correspond-
ing offence under the law as it existed before the
commencement of this Code.

497. (1) This Code shall come in force on such
specific day as the Governor shall by Proclamation
appoint.1

(2) The provisions of this Code shall apply to all
offences committed on or after that day, but shall not apply
to any offence the commission of which was begun before
that day, although such offence may have become
complete on or after that day.

(3) Every offence committed before the commence-
ment of this Code shall be determined and punished, and
(subject to the provisions of this section) shall be inquired
into and tried, as if the Acts and enactments repealed by
this Act had not been so repealed




1 The Governor appointed by proclamation the first day of January, 1927.

References to
corresponding
offences under
previous and
existing law.

Commencement
of Code.

Trial of offences
committed before
commencement
of Code.