Theft Act 1968

Theft is defined in s1 (1) of the Theft Act 1968 which states that 'A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive the other of it"

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  • Created by: Chansa
  • Created on: 11-12-12 17:58

Property

The actus Reus therefore is

Appropriating PROPERTY belonging to ANOTHER

PROPERTY:

s4 (1) of the Theft Act 1968

"Property includes: money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property"

REAL PROPERTY:LAND

Personal Property:- Property which is NOT land

Other INTANGIBLE PROPERTY:

Oxford v Moss (1979): Undergraduate Student acquired a copy of the exam paper. Questions on the exam were held not to be property for the purposes of the Theft Act 1968

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Appropriation

The defintion of appropriation is set out in s3 (1) of the Theft Act 1968

"Any assumption by a person of the rights of any owner amounts to an appropriation...come by property, without stealing it"

The House of Lords also stated 'it must be shown that the act is something that only an owner has the right to do...'

R v Morris (1983):

The defendant appropriated items by switching the sticky labels on items in a shop indicating their price. In R v Gomez, Lord Keith stated that an appropriation may occur 'even though the owner has permitted or consented to the property being taken

However, the definition of appropriation was criticised by Lord Lowry in R v Gomez, stating that it should be given its ordinary and natural meaning

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Belonging To Another

S5 (1) of the Theft Act 1968 states that 'property shall be regarded as 'belonging to another having posession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest'

Property or control of the property is sufficient.

R v Turner, the defendant left his car at mechanics, he promised to pay the debt, but later stole his car without paying for the debt. It was held that this was theft, as the mechanic had the right to keep the car until the debt was paid off.

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MENS REA: Dishonestly

The Theft Act 1968 does not define 'dishonesty'. Although it gives three situations in which the defendant's behaviour is not dishonest.s2 (1) of the Theft Act 1968

a) If he believes that he has a law in, the right to deprive the other of it

b) If he believes that he would have the other's consent if the other knew of the appropriation

c) If he appropriates in the belief that the person to whom the property cannot be discovered Holden (1999)

Honestly believed he would have had the owner's consent if he sought it. However if s2 (1) fails, then this is the matter left to the jury.

Ghosh 2 Stage TEST

i. Was what was done dishonest according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people?

ii. Did the defendant realise that reasonable and honest people would regard what he did as dishonest?

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Intention to PERMANENTLY DEPRIVE

s 6 (1) of the Theft Act 1968

"The defendant must intend to permanently deprive the victim of the item"

Borrowing or 'temporary deprivation'

"A person appropriating property to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself..."

R v Velumyl:- Temporary deprivation is not usually theft

Sometimes the law will find that you intended to permanently deprive

R v Lloyd: The defendant took film reels from the cinema to make pirate copies. He made the copies and then returned them. The pirate copies were made and sold. Held: No intention to permanently deprive. It was temporary deprivation.

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