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Rhian Nicole Mason
Burglary is defined under Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 and there are two types ­ S9 (1) (a) and
S9 (1) (b). Both need the defendant to have entered a building, or part of one, as a trespasser.
Section 9 (1) (a)
The defendant must have entered the building as a trespasser, with the intent to commit "an
offence of stealing, inflicting GBH or doing unlawful damage", the emphasis is on Mens Rea rather
than Actus Reus. None of the offences (ulterior offences) needed to have been committed but
they must intend to do so when entering the building.
Section 9 (1) (b)
The defendant must have entered the building as a trespasser and then steals, attempts to steal,
inflicts harm or attempts to. The emphasis is on Actus Reus rather than Mens Rea and the
defendant must have committed one of the ulterior offences but didn't need to have the intent
when entering.
Actus Reus
Collins (1972) ­ must be an effective and substantial entry ­ on windowsill, not substantial
Brown (1985) ­ leaning through a window held sufficient as effective but not substantial, leaning
through shop window
Ryan (1996) ­ entry established but not effective ­ stuck in window, attempted to get in and steal
Any building or part of
Houses, offices, shops etc. and extends to vehicles and vessels that are inhabited such as caravans
and houseboats, also outbuildings and sheds.
Norfolk Const V Seeking and Gould (1986) ­ temporary structures as buildings is not always clear
trailer with electricity used as storage not found to be a building
Walkington (1979) part of a building can include an area of a building, allowed access in some,
not in others ­ customer had permission to be in the shop, not behind the counter.
As a trespasser
Collins (1972) ­ she gave him permission to come in thinking he was her boyfriend, invitation does
not make a trespasser.
Smith and Jones (1967) ­ defendant may still have permission but still a trespasser when in breach
of the permission ­ boy in fathers house took television.

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Rhian Nicole Mason
Mens Rea
The defendant must know or be reckless to the fact that they do not have permission to enter the
building or that part of it as stated in Collins. This MR applies both (1) (a) and (1) (b).
Ulterior offence
S9 (1) (a)
Mens rea is intent to steal, commit GBH or do unlawful damage.…read more


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