S8 Theft Act 1968: "where D steals and immediately before or at the time, uses force or the threat of force."

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Go through all the elements of theft first (s1-s6)

S8 TA 1968: "where D steals and immediately before or at the time, uses force or the threat of force."

Robinson - D got into a scuffle with V who owed D's wife money. During scuffle V dropped £5, D picks it up and walks off. Held: D honestly believed he was entitled to the property.

S8(2) provides max sentence for robbery = life. Robbery involving a firearm or imitation of a firearm is included.


R v Dawson & James - Two D's nudged V while another D took V's wallet. C/A: "the amount of force used or threatened may have been small, it is up to the jury to decide whether it was enough to constitute robbery."

DPP v B and R - gang surrounded V and demanded his phone and wallet. Held: the threat of force can be express/implied, there is no need to prove that V felt afraid.

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HALE principle

R v Hale - D's entered V's house wearing masks. D(1) put hand over V's mouth while D(2) went upstairs for V's jewellery. Before D's left they tied V up and threatened to harm her child if she phoned the police. C/A: the theft was a continuing act. Everleigh LJ "the act of appropriation... is a continuing act and it is a matter for the jury to decide whether or not the act of appropriation has finished." (AR came first, MR came when D's tied V up)

Lockley - D in supermarket steals something, when making his escape he pushes security guard so he can get out of the door. (confirmed Hale)

Interpretation of the word 'force': 

Dawson v James - jostling the V so that they have difficulty keeping their balance was sufficient to amount to force.

Clouden - D's wrenched bag from V knocking her over. C/A: "applying force to the bag was like applying force to the person."

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Completion of the offence

Robbery is completed when the appropriation is complete:

Corcoran v Anderton - Two D's tried to take a woman's handbag by force, managed to grab hold of it but then dropped it and ran off. Held: appropriation was complete when D's got hold of the bag.

Gomez has a broad effect on robbery, taking hold of the property with an intention to steal is enough (Corcoran v Anderton)

Mens Rea:

The MR for robbery is the MR for theft. 

  • Dishonesty
  • Intention to permanently deprive
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