Theft - Law Unit 4

An overview of theft, unit 4 for law a-level.

HideShow resource information
Preview of Theft - Law Unit 4

First 301 words of the document:

It is defined in s1 Theft Act 1968 which states that:
`A person is guilt of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to
another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it'.
In other words:
Section 2 ­ dishonestly
Section 3 ­ appropriates
Section 4 ­ property
Section 5 ­ belonging to another
Section 6 ­ with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.
Actus reus ­ Appropriation, property and belonging to another.
Mens rea ­ dishonestly and intention to permanently deprive.
This is when the defendant `takes over the rights' of the victim. The rights of
the owner include selling the property or destroying it, as well as possessing it,
consuming it, using it, lending it or hiring it out.
An example is Pitham and Hehl. The D sold furniture that belonged to
another. The offer to sell was an assumption of the rights of an owner. Even if
the owner was never actually deprived of the property, they had appropriated
it by assuming the rights of the owner.
In Morris the court had to decide whether the assumption had to be all of the
rights or any of them. The D had switched labels of 2 items in a supermarket
and took the now `cheaper' item to the checkout but it didn't go through and
he was arrested. HoL stated that `it is enough for the prosecution if they have
proved... the assumption of any of the rights of the owner of the goods in
question'. This meant that there didn't have to be an assumption of all rights.
Can a defendant appropriate an item when it has been given to them by the

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

In Lawrence, a taxi driver told a foreign student that the price of the fare was
more expensive than it should have been (50p). The student opened his wallet
and allowed the D to take money out of it and he took £6. D argued that he
hadn't appropriated it as the student consented but the CoA and HoL rejected
the argument.
The D must have appropriated property.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

A ticket given the right to attend a theatre performance or concert.
Other tangible
Other rights which have to physical presence but can be stolen, such as
patents. In Oxford v Moss knowledge of questions to exams were not held to
be property.
Things which cannot be stolen
In terms of plants and fungi grown in the wild, s4(3) and s4(4), you cannot be
criminally liable unless you do it for reward or to sell it.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

The Ghosh test can prove dishonesty.
Was the action dishonesty according to the ordinary standards of
reasonable and honest people?
Did the defendant realise that what he was doing was dishonesty
by those standards?
Not regarded dishonesty if:
Has the right to deprive the other person of it
He would have had the other's consent if the other knew of the
appropriation and the circumstances of it
The person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by
taking reasonable steps.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

S 8 Theft Act 1968:
Actus reus ­ Theft, force or putting or seeking to put any person on
fear of force.
Mens rea ­ Mens rea for theft, intention to use force to steal.
For there to be robbery, the theft must have been completed ­ all elements
of theft must be present. If one aspect of theft is missing; then there is no
theft, therefore any robbery. An example is Robinson - V owed D £7.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Force in order to steal
The force must be in order to steal. Force used for another purpose does not
become robbery if the D later decides to steal.…read more


Josie Worth

it says 'In Kelly and Lindsayit was held that
dead bodies and body parts can be personal property'

this isn't right, you cant steal bodies, but body parts belong to the person who dissected it, therefore you can steal bodyparts


Actually body parts don't belong to no it belongs to the person for the purposes of teaching.

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all resources »