Unit 4 - S 1 Theft Act 1968

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  • Created on: 22-03-16 17:01


s2 – Dishonestly – mens rea

s3 – Appropriates – actus reus

s4 – Property – actus reus

s5 – Belonging to Another – actus reus

s6 – With the intention of permanently depriving the other of it – mens rea

(S3) Appropriation

“An assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to appropriation”

The rights of an owner including, selling, destroying, lending, hiring it out


Pitham and Hehl 1977

  • D sold furniture belonging to another

  • Held to be appropriation – the offer to sell was an assumption of the rights of an owner

  • It didn’t matter that the furniture hadn’t been removed from the house and the furniture hadn’t been sold yet

Morris 1983

  • D switched price labels so that his product had a lower price. He put it into his basket but not yet gone through the checkout

  • Held that by swapping labels and putting it into basket this was assumption enough

  • Shows that picking an item off a shelf in a shop is appropriation

Corcoran v Anderton 1980

  • Forcible tugging of a handbag even if the owner didn’t let go could be an assumption of rights and therefore appropriate of the property


(S3) Consent to the appropriation


Doesn’t state that the appropriation has to be without the consent of the owner

Lawrence 1971

  • Italian student who spoke little English took a taxi.

  • It should have cost 50p. The student offered him £1 and when the D said it wasn’t enough the student opened his wallet and allowed D to help himself.

  • Lawrence that the money hadn’t been appropriated because of the consent.

  • This was reject and held to still be appropriation.

Gomez 1993

  • Gomez and assistant manager persuaded the Manager to accept a cheque for £17,000 from his accomplice for electrical goods. In fact the cheques were stolen

  • Gomez was convicted and appealed twice however H of L upheld the decision that even though the Manager consented to the sale it was still appropriation






(S3) Consent without deception


Hinks 2000

  • D was a 38 year old women who had befriended a many with very low IQ. He was however mentally capable of understanding the concept of ownerships

  • Over 8 months the D accompanied the V to the bank where the V withdrew £60,000 and put it into D account. He also gave Hinks a TV set

  • Initially the court held that the money was a gift and the man understood his actions

  • Went to appeal and eventually H of L ruled that even though there was consent and there wasn’t any deception there was still appropriation


(S3) Later assumption of Rights


  • S3(1) – it is also appropriation when the D acquires the property without stealing it, but then later tries to keep or deal with the property as…


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