Theft Act 1968

  • Created by: Tom Ower
  • Created on: 01-05-13 16:38
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  • THEFT ACT 1968
    • S1 - Definition
      • 'A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it
    • Actus Reus
      • S4: Property
        • S4 (1) Theft Act states that property includes:
          • Money
          • Real Property
          • Personal Property
          • Things in action
          • Other intangible property
        • Property that cannot be stolen
          • Oxford v Moss 1979
            • Intangible property in the form of confidential information was not capable of being stolen
          • S4 (3) - Picking Fungi, flowers, foliage or fruit from the wild does not amount to Theft, unless it is done for reward, sale or other commercial purpose
          • S4 (4) - Wild creatures that are untamed or not ordinarily kept in captivity cannot be stolen
      • S3: Appropiation
        • 'Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation.'
        • Rights of an owner
          • Selling
          • Hiring Out
          • Lending
          • Destroying
        • R v Morris 1983
          • Concludes that it can be any of the rights, not all of them.
        • Consent
          • R v Lawrence 1971
            • An item can be appropriated with the owners consent
          • R v Gomez 1993
            • An item can be appropriated with the owners consent
          • R v Hinks 2000
        • S5: Belonging to another
          • Does not have to be the legal owner of the property.
          • Appropriating your own property
            • R v Turner #2 1971
              • A person can be found guilty of appropriating property of which he or she is the legal owner.
          • Property obtained by mistake
            • S5 (4) 'where a person gets property by another's mistake. they are under an obligation to return it.
              • Attorney General's Reference #1 1983
      • Mens Rea
        • S6: Intention to permanently deprive the other
          • R v Velumyl 1989
            • Even with the honest intention of replacing them can still be amount to appropriating. Has to be exact same property.
          • Borrowing Property
            • Under normal circumstances, there is no intention as they intend to return the object.
            • R v Lloyd 1985
              • If the intention was to return the item in such a changed state that the goodness, the virtue and the practical value had gone out of the article' that would be sufficient.
            • Conditional Intent
              • R v Easom 1971
                • If a persons intent is based on a condition e.g. that something is actually worth stealing, that is not sufficient intention.
        • S2: Dishonesty
          • No definition
          • Situations where it is not classed as dishonest
            • Believes that he or she would have the other persons consent if they knew of the appropiation
            • Believes that the owner of the property cannot be traced by taking reasonable steps
            • Believes that he or she has the right to deprive the other of the property
          • 2 Stage test from R v Ghosh 1982
            • Did the D realise that what he or she was doing was dishonest by those standards? (Subjective)
            • Was the action dishonest according to the standards of a 'reasonable and honest man?' (Objective)
    • Believes that he or she has the right to deprive the other of the property


    Smith E


    If there are any criminal law topics that particularly benefit from visual representation, it is the Theft Act 1968, mainly due to the formulaic nature of the topic. For example, actus reus has many constituent parts: appropriation of property belonging to another. Furtherthe Ghosh test of dishonesty has two stages, you need to know both. This mind map displays the key principles, the key cases and minor ones too, enabling the student to draw out subtle distinctions in the law (e.g. hiring out and lending of property). It is very good. 

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