Making Off

S3 Theft Act 1978: "where D knowing payment on the spot for goods/services is required, dishonestly makes off without payment with intent."

HideShow resource information

Making off without payment

S3 TA (78): "Where D knowing that payment on the spot for goods/services is required, dishonestly makes off without payment, with intention."

Actus Reus: 

D makes off - leaving the point at which payment is expected. 

Aziz - taxi driver took D to his destination but D refused to pay, taxi driver drove D to police station, D made off. Held: D guilty, the end of the taxi journey does not have to be the point at which payment was expected. 

NOTE: if D is given permission to leave as a result of a deception = S11 Obtaining services dishonestly. 

Without paying as required/expected - D's departure must be made without paying.


  • D hands over forged bank notes he doesn't 'pay'
  • D pays by cheque supported by guarantee card = no offence, even if D has no funds in account - bank obligued to honour the cheque. 
  • D pays with credit card without authority = no offence, card company will honour the debt. 

This will be classed as S11 obtaining services by deception.

1 of 3

Making off without payment

Goods supplied or services done - includes any service or the supply of goods where immediate payment is expected. (e.g. taxi, petrol stations, meals etc.) 

The goods must be supplied or the service must be completed (it isn't necessary that the goods are delivered to D.)

Excluded goods/services - no offence committed where the supply of the goods or doing of the service is contrary to the law, or where the service done is such that payment is not legally enforceable. 

Troughton - (similar to Aziz) D was not required to pay as the journey had not been completed by the taxi driver. The drivers failure to take D to his destination was a breach of contract. 

Mens Rea: 

Dishonesty - Ghosh test applies

Knowledge that payment on the spot was required/expected - D must make off knowing payment was required/expected. 


2 of 3

Mens Rea (MR)

Intent to avoid payment - HL in Allen (1985) decided intention to avoid payment permanently was required.

Allen - D booked hotel roomstayed for 10 nightsleft without paying bill (left belongings behind too). D phoned up 2 days later telling them he had financial difficulties and arranged to return to collect belongings and leave passport as security. D arrested on return. 

C/A: "if D intended to pay later D = not guilty." 

Vincent 2001 - D stayed at 2 hotels but left without paying his bills, but hadobtained agreements with hotels to pay bills later. Conviction quashed on appeal.

3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Law of Tort resources »