Assignment Question
Mary works as an executive assistant for a family company whose managing director is her wealthy grandmother, Mabel. Mary is paid a small salary, but Mabel expects her to be ‘on call’ 24 hours a day. Mary believes she is overworked and grossly underpaid for the work that she does. On the rare occasions when Maryanne has a performance review with Mabel, Mabel tells her:
“Don’t even think about getting a pay rise, if you do exactly what I tell you when I tell you, one day the company will be yours.”
Mary believes that, over a 3-year period, she has been underpaid by at least $100,000.00 compared to other executive assistants.
After Mabel forgets to congratulate Mary on Mary’s birthday, Mary becomes extremely angry at the way she has been treated by her grandmother. After watching a YouTube clip by a motivational speaker Mary decides to ‘stand up for herself’. She decides to take a painting in Mabel’s office by the Australian painter John Olsen, which she believes is worth a large amount of money. Mary also believes that this is Mabels’ favourite painting.
Mary enters the office using her security pass one weekend when she knows the security cameras have been turned off for maintenance. She takes the painting, and places it in the boot of her car. When Mary returns to work the following Monday, she expects Mabel to be angry and to have called the police. However, Mabel is in a good mood. When Mary asks what happened to the painting, Mabel replies:
“Who knows? I never liked the stupid painting anyway. It isn’t an original, it is only a copy. It’s insured for $200,000.00 even though it’s virtually worthless, so whoever took it did me a favour. If you had wanted the stupid thing, I would have given it to you for free!”
The following weekend, Mary decides to return the painting when the security cameras are again under maintenance. Mabel’s office is in darkness. As Mary is placing the painting on the wall, she is disturbed by Billy, a security guard.
In a panic and fearing she will be arrested if caught, Mary throws the painting at Billy. The heavy frame strikes Billy on the head.
In a daze, Billy trips on the carpet, and falls backwards, striking his head on a desk. Billy is knocked unconscious in the fall. Mary leaves the building.
Discuss the criminal liability, if any, of Mary.

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