Blackmail

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  • Created on: 18-05-16 17:02

Blackmail

s.21(1) Theft Act 1968:

A person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces; and for this purpose a demand with menaces is unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief‑

a.     that he has reasonable grounds for making the demand; and

b.     that the use of the menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand

  •  required: unwarranted demand with menaces (unless reasonable grounds to make that demand)
  •  MR view to gain for himself or another

The nature of the demand

 - demand: can be broad

R v Collister and Warhurst  (1955) 39 Cr App Rep 100 - Collister: police officers within earshot of V said that they would drop charges if payment was made - considered a demand

 With menaces - Menaces: common law definition quite wide its meant to be liberally construed according to Lord Wright - not limited to threats of violence!

 Thorne v M.T.A. [1937] AC 797

Per Lord Wright 'I think the word "menace" is to be liberally construed and not as limited to threats of violence but as including threats of any action detrimental to or unpleasant to the person addressed.' (must remember definition in red!)

 R v Harry [1974] Crim LR 32 - Harry: court was looking at a scenario where student had approached a shopkeeper, said they would give him immunity if … pay £50? - court said look at issue sensibly – they did not consider this a menace

R v Clear [1968] 1 QB 670

 Per Sellers LJ: ' Words or conduct which would not intimidate or influence anyone to respond to the demand would not be menaces……..but threats and conduct of such a nature and extent that the mind of an ordinary person of normal stability and courage might be influenced or made apprehensive so as accede unwillingly to the demand would be sufficient of a jury's consideration…….

^^^ definition of menace. 

R v Garwood [1987] 1 WLR 319 - what happens if V is unusually vulnerable?

Per Lord Lane

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