Theft

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Definition of section 1 of the Theft Act (1968)
A person is guilty of theft, if they dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another, with the intention to permanently deprive the other of it
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section 2-6
have the elements of the offence and all these have to be present to get a conviction.
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Actus reus parts of the act
Appopriation, Property, Belonging to another
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Section 3(1)
'Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to appropriation'
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Morris (1983)
example of appropriation, swapping labels could amount to this.
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Section 4(1)
Property is defined as 'property includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property
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Kelly and Lindsay (1998)
Case where it demonstrated that body parts can be classed as property
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Section 5 (1)
Belonging to another- property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having any propriatory right or interest'
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Turner (1971)
Guilty of theft of own car
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Woodman (1974)
being in control of property even though they did not know it was there.
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Section 5 (3)
makes sure that property still 'belongs to the other' if someone receives property from another, the property shall be regarded as belonging to another. Hall (1972)
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Property handed over by mistake and become their property (section 5)
shall be regarded as belonging to the person entitled to restoration- Attorney Generals Reference 1985
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Mens Rea parts of the act
dishonestly, intention to permanently deprive
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Section 1(2)
The motive of the defendant is not relevant, the defendant does not have to gain anything from the theft.
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Dishonesty
Theft Act does not define this but gives three situations of what is not dishonest
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Section 2 (1) (a)
the right to deprive himself of it, behalf of himself or a third person
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Section 2 (1) (b)
he would have consent if the other knew of the appropriation
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Section (1) (c)
the owner of the property cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps seen in SMALL (1988)
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The Ghosh Test
if non of these apply, the jury will apply a common sense test- Ghosh (1982)
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Ghosh Test question 1:
Was the act dishonest according to the standards of a reasonable honest person?
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Ghosh Test question 2:
Did the defendant realise it was dishonest?
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Intention to permanently deprive Section 6
eg stealing something and then selling it and spending the money. or if the property is destroyed. Provides expansion in the act that even if the property is A, BTA, P even if theyre not going to permanently lose it they still have ITPD
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Lloyd (1985)
expanded on section 6 - borrowing is not theft unless it is for a period and it depends on the circumstances. it is theft when the goodness, the virtue and the practical value has gone out of the article.
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(problems) Width of appropriation
A wide variety of acts can be considered appropriation -picking up item,destroying property, throwing items away, selling property, switching price labels, deciding to keep item. This is as a result of Morris-assumed rights of ownership. any assump?
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Consent to appropriation
a major criticism of the law is that there can be an appropriation even if the owner has consented. Should fraud be more appropriate if they have taken property due to a false statement? Prior to 2006 D'scharged with obtaining property by deception
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Theft of gifts
Gomez- can be appropriation even though the owner consented to the taking has become even greater since the decision in Hinks (2000) -property had been given, how is he assuming rights of ownership?
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Reliance on dishonesty to prove theft
because appropriation is so wide, dishonesty is the only distinguishing point between theft and an honest appropriation
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Need for clarity and certainty
The law on theft is not clear, theft carries social stigma (can prevent person from getting job)Many situations where there is an appropriation and no dishonesty=no theft. Needs to be more clarity.
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Belonging to another
the wide definition of 'belonging to another' is needed because it is difficult for the prosecution to prove the victim was the legal owner. This phrase has made some surprising decisions-Turner (1971)
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Dishonesty
Ghosh tests leaves too much to the jury-leads to inconsistent decisions(different juries making different decisions). Focuses too much objectively not anything about D's intentions. If jury thinks it wasn't dishonest-not guilty when they might be.
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Intention to Permanently deprive
is this part necessary, does it matter if they intended to permanently deprive it or not? Lloyd (1985) would be convicted if this didn't exist. Conditional intent-Easom if it was temporary deprivation not permanently, would have been convicted.
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Card 2

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section 2-6

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have the elements of the offence and all these have to be present to get a conviction.

Card 3

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Actus reus parts of the act

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Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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Section 3(1)

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Card 5

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Morris (1983)

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