Robbery and Burglary Handout

This gives you all the important points that are required for those wishing to learn Robbery and Burglary. I have not included evaluation for the purpose that it is unlikely to come up as a Section A Essay on the OCR exams.

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Robbery and Burglary.
Is an offence under s.8 of the Theft Act (1968); in effect it can be seen as a theft which is aggravated by the
use of threat or force.
"A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to
do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being...subjected to force".
Completed Theft.
For there to be a robbery there must be a completed theft; this means that all the elements of theft must be
present in order for there to be any form of robbery. If any are missing there is not theft and also no robbery.
o Robinson (1977): D was owed £7 by the V's wife. He threatened V and during a struggle £5 left V's
pocket. D took it. His conviction was quashed as he had a genuine belief that he had the right in law to
the money and therefore his actions were not dishonest under s.2(1)(a) of the Theft Act.
When force is used to steal, the moment the theft is complete there is a robbery: Corcoran v Anderton
(1980): D's hit a woman in order to steal her bag. She let go of her bag and it fell to the ground. They D's ran
off without the bag. It was held that the theft was complete and so the D's were liable.
Force or threat of force.
The prosecution must also prove there was a force or threat of force. The amount of force does not need to
be substantial:
o Dawson and James (1976): D's pushed V causing him to fall so they could take his wallet. The CoA
upheld the conviction on the basis that "force" was an ordinary word and it was for the just to decide
if there had been force.
o Clouden (1987): D wrenched shopping basket from V's hand. The CoA held that the judge was right
to allow the jury to decide whether D has used force.
It is not necessary for force to be applied, putting V in fear of being subjected to force there and then is
sufficient. E.g. using threatening words like "I have a knife, give me your wallet". Although, the V does not
actually have to be frightened, but the element will still be present.
"On any person": the person threatened does not have to be the person from which the theft occurs.
Force immediately before or at the time of the theft.
There must be force immediately before or at the time of stealing. Although, there is no case law to establish
how "immediately before" it has to be.
Moreover, the force must be applied during the time of the theft. This means that it must occur during the
appropriation of property.
o In Hale (1979) it was held by the CoA that an appropriation can be a continuing act, and it was open
to the just to conclude on the facts as to whether the theft was still continuing as the force was
applied. In this case the D's forced their way into the property of a woman and one placed his hand
over her mouth (force), then once leaving they tied her up. The theft was on-going and so the tying
up was also classed as force.
The decision in Hale was confirmed in Lockley (1995): D stole beer from an off-license and
used force on the shop-keeper. It was held by the CoA that the appropriation was a
continuing act and therefore D was liable.
Force in order to steal.
The force must be applied in order to steal. If the D had a different intention then he cannot be liable for
robbery. E.g. D punches a man, but notices money has come out of his wallet and takes it. The D did not apply
force for the purpose of the theft and therefore they are not liable for robbery, but instead: theft and

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Robbery and Burglary.
Mens Rea for robbery.
D must possess the mens rea for theft ­ he must be dishonest and intend to permanently deprive the other
of the property. He must also intent to use force to steal.
Defined under s.9 of the Theft Act (1968) and there are two ways of committing the offence:
o S.…read more

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Robbery and Burglary.
that a trespasser for the purpose of s.9(1)(b) was someone who "enters premises of another knowing
that he is entering in excess of the permission that has been given to him...or being reckless whether he
is entering in excess of permission".
If D enters through fraud it is also claimed not to be genuine permission and so D is a trespasser.
Mens Rea for Burglary.
S.9(1)(a) and s.…read more


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