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  • Theft
    • dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with intention to permanently deprive the other of it (S.1 Theft Act 1968)
      • Actus reus: (1) appropriation (s.3) (2) property (s.4)  (3) belonging to another at the time of appropriating (s.5)
        • Does not matter if authorised/consented to
          • Does not have to be an outright taking
            • An appropriation requires an action by D, a deception causing V to transfer money will not amount to an appropriation  (R v Briggs)
          • Lawrence v MPC; DPP v Gomez
        • s 3(1) Assumption of any rights of owner (right to possess, use, modify, destroy) suffices for appropriation
          • one right is sufficient to prosecute (R v Morris 1983)
          • Pitham and Hehl (1976) - offeror in possession/control of property offering to sell it = appropriation
            • even where offeror is not in possession at the time but offers to sell goods not his = appropriation
              • still need this act to coincide with mens rea
      • Mens rea - intended at the moment of appropriation to (1) deprive permanently (s.6) (2) dishonestly (s.2)
        • dishonestly borrowing is not theft
          • s.5(1) - theft where property is in possession or control of another - so D can be liable for stealing his own property (R v Turner (No 2) 1971)
          • S. 5 (3) where property is given to A with instructions to deal with it in a certain way, ownership remains with giver. So, if a person receiving property deals with it in a way inconsistent with instructions can be theft. Q: was there a clear obligation to deal with the property in a particular manner: Davidge v Bennett (1984)
            • R v Hall 1973
        • does not need to be a permanent deprivation, only intention to deprive permanently
          • s 3(1) later assumption of rights when property initially taken innocently (Broome v Crowther (1984))
            • making off without payment s.3(1) - for goods or services supplied + knows has to pay, makes off without payment with intent to avoid payment
              • not theft if property is abandoned; Ricketts v Basildon Magistrates [2010]
                • lost property is still regarded as having an owner
                  • where owner can not be found by reasonable steps, finder has better title than owner of land on which found (Bridges v Hawkesworth (!851); Hannah v Peel) unless trespasser (Hibbert v McKiernan)
            • S. 5(4) where property received by mistake and A does not return = theft (AG's Ref (No 1 of 1983) [1985]; R v Shadrokh-Cigari [1988])
              • but if D is unaware of underpayment then no theft Moynes v Cooper [1956]
              • must be legal not moral obligation to return  R v Gilks [1972]
        • s.2 dishonest - by standards of normal person
          • left to the jury (R v Feely), 3 instances of mind which are not dishonest given
    • Prosecution must prove every part
    • max penalty - 7 years (s7)
    • elements in ss. 1 - 6.
  • Property s.4(1)
    • money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property
      • R v Velumyl 1989 - Money includes notes and coins - unless a person intends to give back the exact same notes and coins they have the intention to permanently deprive a person of those particular notes and coins.
        • Things in action refers to a personal property right which can be legally enforced eg a patent right, a debt, a right arising under a trust, a right to overdraw an account, a cheque etc.
          • Intangible property is property which has no physical existence. However, it has been held that confidential information does not constitute property for the purposes of the Theft Act: Oxford v Moss 1979
      • real property = land + any fixtures s.4(2)
      • incl. prohibited drugs (Smith [2011])
        • does not include corpses - R v Sharp 1857
          • body parts may = property (R v Kelly 1999)
      • S.4(3) person who picks wild mushrooms, flowers/ wild foliage on any land not liable for theft unless they want it for sale or reward.
        • S.4(4) wild creatures cannot be stolen unless been reduced into possession by/on behalf of another/in process of being reduced into possession
  • covers situations where the defendant intends to return the property to its owner eg the stealing of a store gift voucher and using it in the store to pay for goods.
    • R v Lavender; R v Marshall
    • S.6(1) borrowing which becomes equivalent to an outright taking.
      • R v Lloyd, Bhuee & Ali
    • Intention to permanently deprive s.6(1)
  • appropriating property in belief that have legal right to deprive the other of it, on behalf of himself or 3rd person
    • 3 subjective instances where not dishonest s.2(1)
      • appropriating in belief that owner would give consent if they knew of appropriation + circumstances
      • appropriating in belief that owner cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps
      • no requirement for any of 3 to be reasonably held (R v Holden; R v Small)
      • in a case not covered here where D claims was honest the Ghosh test applies
      • Dishonesty


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