Theft is defined in Section 1 Theft Act 1968 which states that: 'A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it'.
Actus Reus: Appropraites (Section 3) Property (Section 4) Belonging to Another (section 5).
Mens Rea: Dishonestly (Section 2) Intention to Permanently Deprive (Section 6).
Theft - Appropriation
Appropriation - Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a rights to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner.
Morris (1983) - Defendant switched the price labels on two items in a shop. The fact that morris took the item of the shell and switched the price labels is enough for the prosecution to prove appropriation.
Corcoran v Anderton (1980) - The court of appeal said that the forceable tugging of a handbag even though the owner did not let go of the bag is enough to amount to an assumption of the rights of the owner.
Theft - Consent to Appropriation.
Consent to the appropriation - This area has caused major problems. The Theft Act does not state that the appropriation has to be without the consent of the owner. So, what is the position where the owner has allowed the defendant to take somethign ebcause the owner thought that the defendant was paying for it with a genuine check. This is considered in Lawrence (1971).
Lawrence - An italian student who spoke very little english paid for a taxi. The journey should have cost 50p but lawrence told him it was expensive. The student offered a £1 note to the driver. Lawrence said that was not enough and the student allowed