Robbery is an offence under s8 of the Theft Act 1968 and is essentially a theft aggravated by the use or threat of force.
s 8 of the Theft Act 1968 provides that
i. 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...
ii. A person is guilty of robbery, or of an assault with intent to rob, shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for life.
The elements of theft MUST be established if a conviction for robbery is to be obtained.
Corcoran v Underton (1980, the Defendant snatched the victims handbag by force. The handbag fell to the ground and he ran off.
--> Theft constituted when he tried to get the handbag by FORCE. He'd committed an appropriation
Force: Threat of Force
Force is wider than 'violence' but it is not legally defined. The jury has to determine whether the defendant used or threatened the use of 'force'.
R v Dawson and James (1976)
The defendant nudged the victim, causing an imbalance. The defendant then took something from the victim- this was enough to be force
Force must be used against ANY PERSON but includes property in the victim's immediate possession.
The defendant in this case wrenched the basket from the victim's hand. This was enough to be robbery as force was used.
Immediately before or at the time of stealing
The force must be immediately before or at the time of stealing. If force is used momentarily after the theft, then s8 seems to suggest that there is no theft
R v Hale- Two offenders in victim's house.
R v Vinall:- The defendant punched the victim on a riding bike
-- This was known to be a continuing act.
Mens Rea: Robbery
As with theft: the defendant must have been dishonest and must have intended to permanently deprive the other of the property
----> The defendant must also intend to use force to steal.