S1(1) TA 1968: "a person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive."
Actus Reus: (3 parts)
Appropriation - S3 - "assuming the rights of the owner"
- acting as though the property belongs to you (e.g. taking it, using, selling, damaging or destroying it.)
Morris - Held: "you only have to assume one of the rights of the owner for appropriation to occur."
Gomez - current law on appropriation
Held: "even an honest shopper appropriates property by taking an item off the shelf, it is only MR which separates them for a theif"
Hinks - D was a carer of an elderly man, persuaded him to give her gifts of up to £60,000.
confirmed Gomez and went further..
Held: "even a gift can amount to appropriation if it was received dishonestly.
Property - s4 - includes money and all other property including tangible and intangible things.
R v Walsh - urine sample stolen, bodily fluids = property.
Oxford v Moss - D stole exam paper, copied it and was caught returning it. Held: D only took knowledge of it, not guilty.
- s4(3) Wild flowers/fruit/mushrooms unless taken for commercial purposes
- s4(4) Wild animals are not property
Belonging to another - s5
s5(1): "property belongs to someone who has possession/control or a right or interest in it."
R v Turner (No. 2) - D drove his car away from a garage without paying the repair bill. Held: Garage had an interest in the car, D guilty.
s5(3): holding money for a particular purpose - if D does anything unauthorised with the money = theft
Davidge v Bennett - D given money by flatmates to pay the gas bill, D buys presents instead. Held: D guilty, was under and obligation to pay gas bill.
Is there an obligation to deal with the money in a certain way?
Hall - D received money from clients for deposits on flights. D put money in general business accounts but never organised the trips. Held: not guilty, under no obligation to deal with the money in a certain way.
Stealing from a charity:
Dyke v Munro - Held: "the money belongs to the charity not those who donated it."
s5(4): receiving property by a mistake - you must return it!
Attorney General's Reference - police officer was overpaid but did not return the money. Held: "D can be guilty in this situation as the money belongs to the company."
- no def of dishonesty in TA
3 negative situations given where D = not dishonest
s2(1)(a) D believes he has a legal right to the property.
Robinson - D took £5 following a struggle with V who owed D's wife money. Held: not guilty, D believed he had a right to take it.
s2(1)(b) D believes the owner would have consented to the taking.
Holden - D saw employee's taking scrap tyres at Kwik-Fit, D took some too. Held: not guilty as D believed the owner would have consented.
s2(1)(c) D took reasonable steps in tracing the owner.
Small - D found abandonded car left for over a week, D took it. C/A held: "conviction quashed if D honestly believed this was the case."
If the 3 negatives do not apply, Ghosh does:
Ghosh = surgeon claiming fee's for procedures he did not do.
C/A said D's conduct should be regarded as dishonest if:
- it would be considered dishonest by ordinary, reasonable and honest people (objective test) and..
- D realised that what he was doing was dishonest by those standards. (subjective test)
This is a question for the jury.
Intention to permanently deprive - s6
- specific intent, mere recklessness is not enough
Borrowing can be theft if it affects the 'value' of the item
Velumyl (1989) - D took over £1,000 from his employer's safe. C/A held: "D could not have intended to pay back the exact same notes and coins he had taken."
Lloyd (1985) - D was a projectionist at a cinema, over time he removed films, copied them and returned them. Held: "the goodness, virtue and practical value of the films had not been removed, D not guilty."
Conditional intent for theft = no intent
Easom - D rummaged through V's bag in cinema, saw nothing worth taking and pulled hand out.