Theft, Robbery and Burglary - A2 Criminal Law

These are the notes I've typed up in brief on the three main property offences. Thats nearly everything uploaded now :) the only one I've not done (yet) is on General Defences.

QUESTION: I've missed out the case of Gomez in these because I don't understand why its important. If you do and you can explain it to me, please please please comment and lend me a hand!! Tahhh :)

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  • Created on: 13-06-11 13:31
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6) Property Offences: Theft, Robbery and Burglary
Theft is defined in s1 of the Theft Act (1968):
o "A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the
other of it"
Actus Reus:
The appropriation of property belonging to another
s3 ­ "Any assumption of the rights of the owner amounts to an appropriation..."
R v Morris (1983) ­ D switched the price labels of two items on the shelf in a supermarket and then attempted to pay for the item which now
had the lower price. He had not gone through the checkout. He was arrested (and later convicted) for theft.
The act does not state whether or not the appropriation has to be without the owner's consent:
R v Lawrence (1971) ­ An Italian student who spoke little English asked the D (a taxi driver) for a journey that should have cost 50p. D said
that a £1 note was not enough, the V held out his wallet, and D helped himself to a further £6. CoA/HoL held that there was an appropriation
in this situation.
Removal of goods from a supermarket shelf is an appropriation but there is not theft if the mens rea is not present
s4 ­ "Property includes money and all other property real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property"
Money: self explanatory / Personal Property: Books, CD's etc, moveable items / Real Property: Land and Buildings etc / Things in Action: e.g. A bank
Other intangible property: e.g. A patent, but not knowledge per se
Oxford v Moss (1979) ­ D was a university student who got hold of an exam paper he was due to sit. He did not intend to permanently
deprive the uni of the paper the questions were printed on and knowledge of the questions was held not to be property.
Certain things cannot be stolen ­ e.g. wild (not cultivated) plants (unless for sale or reward)
Belonging to Another
s5 ­ "Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having any proprietary right or interest..."
Wide definition: has lead to a situation where you can steal your own property

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Turner (No 2) (1971) ­ D left his car at a garage for repairs. When the repairs were complete, he collected it with a spare key in the middle
of the night without paying. The garage possessed the car so D was guilty of its theft.…read more

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R v Lloyd (1985) ­ The projectionist at a local cinema lent a film to the D so he could make an illegal copy. He returned it before the next
showing at the cinema and his conviction was quashed because there was no proof that he had intended to permanently deprive.…read more

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Mens Rea:
The Mens Rea for Theft and Intention to use force to steal
AO2 Points on the Law of Robbery
Robbery requires a completed theft, but the way that the law applies to theft is different to the way that it applies to Burglary. In theft cases it is
held that the appropriation occurs at one point in time, in robbery it can be a continuing act.…read more

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R v Collins (1972) ­ D was drunk and saw a ladder. He climbed up it, saw a naked girl asleep in bed, went down, got undressed and then
climbed back up. The girl woke up and thinking he was her boyfriend invited him in where they had sex. His conviction was quashed because
he had been invited into the room.…read more


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