Theft Act 1968 c.60

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  • Theft Act 1968 c.60
    • Royal Assent granted on 26th July 1968
    • It replaced the Larceny Act 1916, which had failed to provide a modern law of Theft
    • Section 1 of the act
      • Included a completely new definition of "Theft"; outlining 5 elements to the offence
      • Dishonesty, an appropriation, there must be property, it must belong to another person and there must be an intention to permanently deprive the owner of it
    • The following 5 acts expanded into these concepts
    • The definition of theft applies to all types of theft, which are all covered by the offence.
      • By contrast the Larceny Act contained a large number of different ways of committing larceny
    • R v Ghosh  [1982] EWCA Crim 2, [1982] QB 1053 (House of Lords)
      • Established the  2 stage test for dishonesty
      • 1 - whether the conduct complained of was dishonest by the lay objective standards of ordinary, reasonable and honest people
      • 2 - and whether the defendant must have realised that ordinary, honest people would so regard his behaviour
      • The second limb was subjective and was intended to protect those who committed what was objectively a dishonest act, but did not realise they were doing so.
    • The Supreme Court determined that the Ghosh test was no longer valid
    • The Theft Acts 1978, the Theft (Amendment Act) 1996 and the Fraud Act 2006 have modified the fraud sections of the act but otherwise the act is still very much as it was when it was passed in 1968
      • E.G. s. 15 Obtaining property by deception. has been repealed by the Fraud Act 2006


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