Theft Case Cards

R v Morris

The Defendant switched labels of things at the supermarket to show lower prices 

Switching of labels and plaxing goods in basket forms appropriation

"Any assumption of any (doesnt have to be all of them) rights over property will be regarded as theft"


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R v Lawrence

Taxi driver (d) and foreign student getting a lift

Fare was small, student offered a bank note. The defendant said it wasn't enough, student gave him wallet to take right amount out of it - the taxi driver took around 20 times more than was due

The defendant claimed that though it was dishonest it wasnt appropriation as he had consent

The driver was found guilty of theft as appropriation need not be without consent of the owner


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R v Gomez

The defendant was an assistant manager at an electrical store. 

An accomplice asked for £16,000 of goods with 2 worthles cheques - that they knew would bounce

The defendant got the manager to authorise the sale

Defendant convicted of theft

Appeal because the manager had willingly released them


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R v Hinks

Woman becomes friendly with old vulnerable man

He gifts her £6,000 and a TV

All transactions appeared to be a voluntary gift

The house of Lords upheld the conviction

Showing voluntary gifts can be appropriation


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Oxford v Moss

A student looked at an exam paper, copied it and put it back

It was found that confidential information is not property within the meaning of theft. So no theft took place


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R v Marshall

The defendant was getting travel cards on the tube and reselling them for profit

The court took into account the value of the intangible property in a travel card when convicting the defendants who had asked for tickets finished with by some travellers that still had some value on them


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R v Kelly

An artist stole body parts from the Royal College of London without their permission

A corpse is not normally regarded as property

The court decided that body parts could be property for the purposes of theft even though the common law is that theres no property in a corpse


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R v Webster

Captain Gill recieved two medals instead of one in error. He gave it to Webster who sole it on eBay for £605

Where duplicate property has been delivered to the defendant by mistake the defendant cannot keep the second item; it remains the belonging of the sender 


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R v Turner (no.2)

Using the spare keys the defendant removed his car from a garage after the repairs on it had been performed so that he didn't have to pay

In this case it was the right to retain possession of the goods until a repair bill had been paid. He was convicted of stealing his own car - the rights over the car 


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R v Woodman

A van owner took scrap metal from and old factory - the factory owners didnt know it was there

A person can be in control of property he doesnt know he possesses, in this case scrap metal


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Williams v Phillips

Refuse (bin) collectors removed rubbish from comercial premesis and the sold on rags and wool etc.

Property that has been abandoned with intention to abandon may become the property of those that remove it. In this case the council owned rubbish left for collection


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Davidge and Burnett

Defendant shared a flat and was gived cheques/ money for rent. But instead spent them on Christmas presents.

Where money is given for a specific purpose they must be used for that purpose or it is theft


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DPP V Huskinson

Defendant sent cheques for housing benefit, he wanted direct debit - spent some on himself and some on rent

Where money of cheques are given for a particular purpose there can be a conviction for theft only if there is a legal and not merely moral obligation to use the proceeds for that


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R v Wain

Charity fundraiser placed the money raised in a seperate account and didnt transer it over and pay

Where money is helf in trust for someone the money is belonging to another


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R v Smalls

Defendant genuinely believd that the car had been abandoned 

Old car abandoned on side of road for a week - keys in  the ignition so he though the car had been stolen

D was protected by S2(1)(a) - operating to prevent the conviction of the defendant who genuinely believed that the car had been abandoned 


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R v Ghosh - Ivey v Genting Casinos

Two limb test that used to exist to test dishonesty (now overrulled) 

1) Is the conduct of the d dishonest by the standards of ordinary reasonable and honest people?    2) If yes - did the defendant realise that the conduct was dishonest by those standards

Following Ivey v Genting Casinos dishonesty is no longer judged by the Ghost test in criminal and civil law. 

Courts will now do a fact finding mission as to the individuals knowledge/belief of the facts. When his actual state of mind has been established it will be judged objectively by the standards of the ordinary honest and reasonable people. 

It is no longer a requirement that the defendant realises they have been dishonest by these standards


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THe defendant took and broke some headphones, they then returned them back to the owner

Taking and destroying of property can amount to intention to permanently deprive


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R v Lloyd

A cinema employee who worked on the projector took films, copied them and then returned them (piracy)

The removal of the films from the cinema to be copied didn't amount to intention to permanently deprive


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R v Velumyl

The defendant took £1,050 from a safe at his workplace as he was lending for a friend and the friend intended to return the money a few days later

The defendant had intended to permanently deprive the owner of his property as he clearly didn't intend to return the same notes/coins even if they were of the same value 


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R v Lavender

The defendant swapped the internal door of their council house with the door of a vacant council house nearby

Its a wider interpretation of intention to permanently deprive. As they had asssumed the rights of the door, no intention of returning it and treating it as their own


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