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Rhian Nicole Mason
Blackmail is defined under Section 21 of the Theft Act 1968 yet there is no need for a theft to have
taken place.
Actus Reus
Can be words, conduct or writing and once the demand is made this part of AR is satisfied, the
victim need not to have heard or received the blackmail. E.G Treacy V DPP (1971) ­ threat from
England to Germany in letter, tried in England as threat made when letter sent.
S 21 (1) ­ a demand is unwarranted unless the person making it believes that A) they have
reasonable grounds to do so and B) the use of menaces is a proper way to reinforce the demand.
This is a subjective matter and is not based on the reasonable person but the defendant and is
they believe that the grounds are reasonable and menaces were proper. The jury needs to see
that D believes both these.
Harry (1974) ­ Not sufficient menace because no concern ­ shopkeepers offered immunity from
inconvenience during student rag week
Garwood (1987) ­ Not usually sufficient but was due to D knowing effect on V ­ threatened timid
person into giving a tenner.
Clear (1968) ­ Not necessary to show actual victim affected ­ threat is with menaces if a normal
person would be affected by it
So it is what the defendant does and knows that matters, not the effect on the victim.
Mens Rea
Two parts: A view to gain for oneself or another, or intent to cause a loss to another.
Gain and loss are understood as in money or other property, but can be extended and interpreted.
Gain or loss can be temporary.
No gain or loss need actually be made, only the intent is needed for one or the other not both.
Gain can including keeping what one has e.g. not paying for something
Loss can include not getting something one should e.g. loss of earnings


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