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Definition: S.8 Theft Act 1968: Steal and immediately before stealing or at the same time as
stealing and in order to commit the theft use force or threats of force against anyone.
So elements which must be proved for robbery are:
Force or putting to put any person in fear of force
Two conditions of force:
Must be immediately before or at the same time of the theft; and
Must be in order to steal.
Theft: The full completion of theft needs to be there: "D dishonestly appropriates property
belonging to another with intention of permanently depriving the other of it"
Robinson (1977): (shows theft is a vital ingredient) D took money from V. V's wife owed the
money to D. D argued, the money was not appropriated dishonestly, therefore there was not
theft, and therefore there could be no robbery . Held: There was no theft because D believed he
had a legal right to the property. Not guilty
Where force is used to steal, then the moment of theft is complete, there is robbery.
Corcoran V Anderton (1980): D struck V in the back, tugged at her handbag causing the woman to
release it. The woman screamed and fell. Both D and his accomplice ran off empty-handed. The
woman retrieved her handbag. At no time did D have sole control over the handbag . Held: The
tugging of the handbag of itself might not be a sufficient appropriation; the snatching of the
handbag from the woman causing it to fall from her grasp to the ground amounted to an
Force or threat of force: D actions amount to force is something to be left for the jury to decide.
The amount of force can be small.
Dawson V Jones (1976): D stole a mans wallet after he had lost his balance because he was
nudged by others. Held:Whether this was force was a question to be decided by the jury. Lawton
LJ: 'The choice of the word "force" is not without interest ... The jury must use their common
sense to decide whether D's actions amounted to force'.
Clouden (1987): D wrenched a woman's shopping basket down and out of her grasp and ran off
with it. D argued that snatching a bag could not amount to force . Held: Whether force had been
used or not is a matter to be left to the jury. The jury were entitled to conclude that pulling a bag
down amounted to force. The old distinction between force on the actual person and force on
property causing force on the person had gone.
The definition of robbery makes it clear that for the offence to be commited D put or seeks to put
the person in a state of fear therefore the fear is subjective.
Bentham (2005): D put his fingers into his pocket to give the appearance of a gun, he then
demanded money and jewellery. He was charged with robbery and pleaded guilty. He was also
charged with having in his possession of an imitation firearm during the couse of the robbery
contrarty to 2.17 (2) Firearms Act (but it was quashed by the HL).
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Robbery is also committed even if the V is not actually frightened by D's actions or words. If D
seeks to put V in fear, and then there is a subjected to force, this element of robbery is present.
B and R V DPP (2007: V (schoolboy aged 16) was stopped by six other school boys, they asked for
his mobile and money. As this was happening another five boys joined the first five and
surrounded the victim.…read more