Theft

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  • THEFT S1 OF THE THEFT ACT 1968
    • APPROPRIATION S3
      • 3 (1) Appropriation is any assumption by a person of the rights of the owner
        • Pitham and Hehl - An appropriation can be an assumption of the right to sell
        • Morris - An assumption may be of any of the rights, it does not have to be of all the rights
        • Lawrence - an appropriation can take place even where the property has been handed over with the owners consent, there is often a link with dishonesty
        • Gomez - the issue of consent occurred when releasing goods against worthless cheques,  there can be an appropriation even if goods are released with consent
        • Hinks - appropriation can take place even when there is a voluntary gift, consent was linked to dishonesty
    • PROPERTY S4
      • S4 (1) property means money and all other property, real or personal including things in action and other intangible property
        • THINGS IN ACTION
        • PERSONAL PROPERTY
          • Obvious items of personal property are CDs books, jewellery, cars and even aeroplanes, and sheets of paper
          • R v Smith - Property includes prohibited drugs as the exceptions do not mention unlawful items
        • OTHER INTANGIBLE PROPERTY
          • A-G of Hong Kong v Chan Nai Keung - an export quota for textiles was intangible property, this refers to rights which have no physical prescence
    • BELONGING TO ANOTHER S5
      • Possesion and Control
        • A person may be in possession and control at the same time, eg hiring a car, or be just in possession or just in control
          • Since there is a wide definition of 'belonging to another', it has lead to a defendant stealing his own car
            • Turner -  a person can be convicted of theft where he steals another persons rights over goods, until a repair bill had been paid - it happened to be his own car
          • Woodman - a person can be in control of property he does not know he possesses, in the case of scrap metal in a disused factory
          • Williams v Phillips - property that is abandoned by its owner may become the property of those that remove it eg the council
      • Property received under an obligation s5 (3)
        • Davidge and Bunnet - where money or cheques are given for a particular purpose, they must be used for that purpose or there can be a conviction of theft
        • Wain - where money is held in trust for someone, the money is money that belongs to another
      • Property obtained by a mistake  s5 (4)
        • A-G's reference No 1 of 1983 1985 - where the defendant obtains money by another's mistake they are under an obligation to make restoration
    • DISHONESTLY S2
      • S2 (1) a)
        • He has the right in law to deprive the other of it, on behalf of himself or a third person
          • Robinson - D was charged with robbery, but the conviction quashed as he had the belief that he had the right to take it
      • S2 (1) b)
        • He would have the other person's consent if the other knew of the appropriation and he circumstances of it
          • An example of someone taking something with someone's consent is if a student took a can of beer from his friend's bag thinking that it would be ok to take it
      • S2 (1) c)
        • The person whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps
          • If someone found a note at the side of a deserted road, there is no one else around so if the finder keeps it as he believes that there is no reasonable way of finding the owner
      • S2 (2)
        • If the defendant says that he is willing to pay or has left money to pay he may still be liable
      • Gosh test
        • 1 - Was the action dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people?
        • 2 - Did the defendant realise that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards
    • INTENTION TO PERMANENTLY DEPRIVE S6
      • Velumly - it is clear that if the defendant treats something as his own then he has been dishonest
      • DPP v Lavender - if the defendant deals with, rather than dispose of they will still be liable, eg treating council doors as their own
      • Lloyd - borrowing the property and keeping it until the goodness the virtue and the practical value has been taken out of the article
      • Easom - conditional intention to deprive is not enough
  • This can be soil, rocks, gravel, buildings, or part of the building and crops
    • S 4 (2) b) a person can commit theft of things forming part of the land that the owner has not allowed them to possess
  • S4 (2) REAL PROPERTY  LAND - CAN ONLY BE STOLEN IN 3 WAYS
    • S 4 (2) b) a person can commit theft of things forming part of the land that the owner has not allowed them to possess
    • S4 (2) a) a person can steal land has the ability to transfer land to another however the land he is transferring is not his to transferr
    • S4 (2) c) the tenant can be guilty of theft where he removes fixtures, eg shed, garage, plumbing, electrical
    • S4 (1) property means money and all other property, real or personal including things in action and other intangible property
      • THINGS IN ACTION
      • PERSONAL PROPERTY
        • Obvious items of personal property are CDs books, jewellery, cars and even aeroplanes, and sheets of paper
        • R v Smith - Property includes prohibited drugs as the exceptions do not mention unlawful items
      • OTHER INTANGIBLE PROPERTY
        • A-G of Hong Kong v Chan Nai Keung - an export quota for textiles was intangible property, this refers to rights which have no physical prescence

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