Theft Revision

  • Created by: siannolan
  • Created on: 26-03-19 13:28


Definition of theft às.1 Theft Act 1968 

“A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.”


Appropriation : 

-       Section 3 (1) TA 1968 “any assumption of rights of an owner” 



-       Section 4 (1) TA 1968 - Property’ includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property’.


Belonging to Another:

-       Section 5 TA 1968 - Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it or having in it any proprietary right or interest. 



-       Section 2 (1) TA 1968 – Gives three situations where D’s conduct will not be regarded as dishonest. 


1.    Belief in the legal right to deprive 

2.    Belief in the owner’s consent

3.    Belief that the owner cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps.


-       Gosh Test àCommon law “was what the D did dishonest to the standards of reasonable and honest people” Subjective “did the D realise that his conduct was dishonest by those standards”. 

-       Dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving another of it.

-       MR = dishonest / intent


Appropriation = easy to prove = assuming the rights of an owner

-       No requirement that all rights of the owner are assumed. 

-       Morris = ANY RIGHTS 

-       Only dishonest appropriation could constitution theft. 

-       Consent of the owner is irrelevant / You can appropriate a gift.



-       No theft if you accidentally come across property = no dishonest intent to deprive. However, dishonest appropriation occurs if you later decide to steal the property.


Real property = land and things attached


Personal Property = things you can touch that aren't land. 


Property must belong to someone other than D at the moment of the dishonest appropriation in order for there to be a theft. 


Things in action = debt 


Things you can't steal:

-       Confidential info - Oxford v Moss

-       Electricity - Lowe and Blease

-       Bodies - Kelly and Lindsay

-       Bank accounts IN CREDIT = things in action = property! If you're account is overdrawn and you physically take money from the ATM, that's theft - Poland 

-       Belonging to another: they must have either

-       Possession - Turner No 2 

-       or Control - Rostron and Collinson 



R v Morris [1983] - D switched price labels on items in a supermarket in order to buy a more expensive item at a reduced price. D took the goods to the checkout, paid the reduced price and was later arrested. The House of Lords held there was an appropriation when the defendant switched the labels because the defendant had


No comments have yet been made