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  • Theft Act 1968 s1
  • Appropriation - Any assumption of the rights of the owner (Pitham&Hehl 1977/ Lawrence 1971/Hinks 2000/Morris 1983)
  • Belonging to another- D can be guilty even where property does not belong to another such as: a) trust property where a trustee can steal it b) property received under obligation (Hall 1972/Wain 1995/ Davidge&Bunnett 1984) or c) property received by another's mistake (a-g's reference 1985).
  • Property- Includes money and all other property real or personal including things in action and other tangible property.
  • Belonging to another- possession & control or having a proprietary right or interest
  • Dishonesty- Ghosh 1982: 1)  Was the action dishonest according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people? 2) Did D realise that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards? D is not dishonest where: a) D has a right in law b) D would have the others consent c) owner cannot be discovered! However D is still dishonest even if D intends to pay for property.
  • With intention of permanently depriving-The intention to treat the thing as his own and never give it back. (Velumyl 1989/ Robinson 1977/Feely 1973/DPP v Lavender 1994/Easom 1971/Raphael and another 2008.
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Robbery s8 Theft Act 1968


  • D is guilty where he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.
  • ELEMENTS WHICH MUST BE PROVED ARE: There must be a completed theft (Robinson 1977) and the moment the theft is completed with the relevant force there is robbery (Corcoran v Anderton 1980).
  • Jury decides whether there was force using oridanry definiton (Dawson & James 1976/ Clouden 1987/ B & R v DPP 2007) Force can be against any person, it does not have to be against the victim of the theft.
  • For Robbery, theft has been held to be a continuing act (Hale 1979) and using force to escape can still be at the same time of the theft (Lockley 1995).
  • The force must be in order to steal. Force for another reason does not become robbery if D later decides to steal. Mens rea for theft plus an intention to use force to steal.
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Burglary s9 Theft Act 1968!!!

  • S9 1 (a)- D enters a building or part of a building as a trespasser with intent to steal, inflict grievous bodily harm or do unlawful damage to the building or anything in it.
  • S9 1 (b)-D having entered a building or part of a building as a trespasser D steals or attempts to steal or inflicts or attempts grievous bodily harm.
  • The entry must be effective (Brown 1985) and evidence for jury to find D had entered (Ryan 1996).
  • Building or part of a building- Must have some permanence (B and S v Leathley 1979) includes inhabited vehicle or vessel, can be entry of part of a building (Walkington 1979)
  • As a trespasser- If has permission not a trespasser (Collins 1972) if exceeds permission then can be a trespasser (Smith and Jones 1976)
  • MENS REA- Must know or be subjectively reckless as to whether he is a trespasser plus either intention at point of entry to commit theft GBH or criminal damage (S91a) or mens rea for theft or GBH at point of committing or attempting to commit these offences in a building (S91b).
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  • Voluntary intoxication can negate mens rea for specific intent offence if D is so intoxicated that he has not formed the mens rea but not a basic intent offence where the mens rea can be recklessness.
  • Involuntary intoxication can negate the mens rea for a basic intent offence as he did not choose to become voluntarily intoxicated . Involuntary can also be used as a defence to a specific intent offence however if a mens rea was formed then D will be guilty.Sheehan & Moore 1975/ Kingston 1994/ Richardson & Irwin 1999.
  • Problems on law with intoxication: Some areas seem to be contrary to the normal rules on mens rea and actus reus. DPP v Majewski (1977) ignored the principle that actus reus and mens rea must coinicide. The decision to drink may be many hours before D commits the actus reus of the offence. Also at time of getting intoxicated D might not have any idea that he will actually commit an offence. Usually where recklessness is sufficient for mens rea it has to be proved that D knew there was a risk of the specific offence being committed. The alternative approach in Richardson and Irwin makes the law fairer was it asks the jury to decide whether D would have realised the risk if he had not been drinking. The fact of being intoxicated does not automatically make D guilty. However it is very difficult to decide what D would have reliased if he was sober.  Also there are no fall back offences for example where D is charged with theft, while if they were charged with murder the charge would be lowered to manslaughter. Where D's inhibitions are broken down as in Kingston 1994 the law ignores the fact that D is not to blame for his intoxication. 
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Self-defence/ defence of another!!

  • Was the use of force necessary? if it was then 
  • Was the force used reasonable in the circumstances?
  • Martin (2002) Williams (1987) -genuine mistake 
  • Attorney-Generals reference (1984)
  • the decision of whether force was necessary can be a difficult one where the jury has to decide the position that D believed existed which means that D can rely on any mistake he makes as long as it was a genuine one and it was not caused by intoxication. This is so even where the mistake is not a reasonable one. 
  • Excessive force- When D is charged with murder because he used excessive force the judge has to impose a life sentence even though this is not really fair as D does not have the same level of fault as a person who killed intentionally. (Martin 2002). However this problem has been partially solved by the Coroners & Justice Act 2009 which created the partial defence of loss of control. Now a defendant in this situation would be able to use loss of control as one of the qualifying triggers is D's fear of serious violence from V or another identified person. This would allow defendants such as martin to reduce the charge of murder to manslaughter, however they would have to prove the loss of control as well as the threat of serious violence.
  • Relevance of D's circumstances- The circumstances are not taken into consideration as in Martin, where he used excessive force due to his condition which meant he perceived much greater danger than the average person would. How has this been reformed? (Read pg 85).
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  • Consent is always a defence to common assault or battery .There must be true consent (Tabassum 2000) informed consent (Dica 2004) implied consent (Wilson v Pringle 1987) mistaken belief in consent (Aitken 1992). Brown (1993) consent to minor injuries. 
  • Barnes (2004) new rules on sports and consent: 1. Consent is not normally available as a defence to bodily harm, but sporting activities are one of the exceptions to this; 2. the exceptions are based on public policy; 3. in contact sports conduct which goes beyond what a player can reasonably regarded as having accepted by taking part, is not covered by the defence of consent; 3. However, in contact sport the players consent to often serious contact evne though there may be some serious accidents which cause injury. In deciding whether conduct in course of a sport is criminal or not the following factors have to be considered: 1. Intentional infliction of injury will always be criminal; 2. for reckless infliction of injury- did the injury occur during actual play or in a moment of temper or over-excitement when play has ceased; 3, the fact that play is within the rules and practice of the game and does not go beyond it will be a firm indication that what has happened is not criminal.Horseplay- Jones (1986)- people consent to being involved in rough and undisciplined horseplay, people usually do not mean to cause any injury. The unfair decision in Brown (1994) compared to Wilson. Horseplay- inconsistencies and unfairness in Aitken etc.Consent and sexual offences G (2008)Consent and euthanasia- R V DPP (2001) (Pretty) R (Purdy) v DPP (2009).
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