A-Level Law: Theft

amyclare96
Mind Map by amyclare96, updated more than 1 year ago
amyclare96
Created by amyclare96 about 5 years ago
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Description

This mind map covers the offence of Theft. It's suitable for those studying A2 Law.

Resource summary

A-Level Law: Theft
1 Theft Act 1968
1.1 'a person is guilty of theft is he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it'
2 Actus Reus Elements
2.1 Appropriation
2.1.1 Section 3
2.1.2 'Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner'

Annotations:

  • Taking the rights someone has over that property/ right of ownership
2.1.3 Pitham and Hehl
2.1.3.1 Includes the right to sell property
2.1.4 Morris

Annotations:

  • D switched price labels of 2 items, put cheaper one in basket and took item to checkout, however was arrested before going through till.
2.1.4.1 doesn't have to be an assumption of all the rights

Annotations:

  • Usually right of possession.
2.1.5 Eddy V Niman

Annotations:

  • D placed items in trolley intending to steal goods, however changed his mind and abandoned the goods before leaving the shop.
2.1.5.1 Contrasts to case of Morris
2.1.5.1.1 D had merely taken the goods off the shelf and placed them in trolley provided by the store. he had no done any overt act inconsistent with the rights of the owner.
2.1.6 Concoran V Anderton
2.1.6.1 COA expressed view forcible tugging of a bag could amount to an assumption of the rights of the owner
2.1.7 Consent
2.1.7.1 Lawrence

Annotations:

  • D was a taxi driver and had a foreign student who asked to be taken to a hotel. The fare was small, however the student did not speak much English and offered D the wallet to take the correct amount. D took 20x more than the fare justified. D found guilty as court decided appropriation need not be without the consent of the owner.
2.1.7.2 Gomez

Annotations:

  • D was assistant manager at store. His accomplice asked to be supplied with £16,000 worth of goods and issued 2 worthless cheques. D was aware of this and asked manager to authorise sale. Manager asked D to call bank to authorise cheques, D pretended too. Cheques later returned by bank as unpaid.
  • HOL decided that there was dishonest appropriation of goods and store manager was led into giving his consent. Wasn't 'true consent' and so property was dishonestly appropriated.
2.1.7.3 Hinks

Annotations:

  • D was single mother who became friendly with V, who had recently lost his father and was naïve and gullible. V withdrew £300 almost everyday and D accompanied then placed money into her account. After 7 months, £60,000 had been moved out of his account into hers.
  • HOL upheld conviction for theft and stated issue of consent was related to dishonesty rather than appropriation.
2.2 Property
2.2.1 Section 4 (1)
2.2.2 'Includes all things money and all other property, real and personal including things in action and other intangible property.'
2.2.2.1 Exceptions within Section 4
2.2.2.1.1 Section 4(2)(a)

Annotations:

  • A person can commit theft of land where he has the ability to transfer the ownership to another person and the land or rights are not his to transfer.
2.2.2.1.1.1 Trustee
2.2.2.1.2 Section 4(2)(b)

Annotations:

  • A person can commit theft of things forming part of the land that the owner of the land has not allowed the thief to possess. However, a tenant farmer can harvest his crops without it being theft but the landowner or anyone else cannot.
2.2.2.1.2.1 Part of the land
2.2.2.1.3 Section 4(2)(c)

Annotations:

  • Refers to tenants of land. Tenant can be guilty of theft where he removes 'fixtures' or parts of the house.
2.2.2.1.3.1 Tenant
2.2.3 Oxford V Moss

Annotations:

  • D borrowed exam paper for purpose of obtaining information on forthcoming exam. He copied the paper then returned it. D charged with theft of info contained on the exam paper.
2.2.3.1 Confidential Info not property
2.2.4 Marshall

Annotations:

  • D's were caught obtaining and reselling London Underground tickets to members of the public passing through barriers. Cards often had some value left on them. Court decided tickets belonged to LU and travellers used them as evidence of the right to travel.
2.3 Belonging to Another
2.3.1 Section 5 (1)
2.3.1.1 'Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest.'

Annotations:

  • At time of appropriation, property must belong to another.
  • Ownership may be separated from poession. More important.
2.3.2 Webster

Annotations:

  • D was V's staff support assistant. Medal was handed over to D, who advertised it and sold it. a duplicate medal was received. D accepted the right thing to do would have been to return the medal to the medals office.
  • Court decided in this case, the medal's office did retain a proprietary interest in the medal and was entitled to call for the return of the duplicate. D convicted.
2.3.2.1 Proprietary interest over possession and control
2.3.3 Turner

Annotations:

  • D removed his car from outside the garage at which it had been repaired, to avoid having to pay for the repair. garage was entitled to keep possession of his car until bill had been paid and also due to a security interest (lien)
2.3.3.1 Right to retain possession and control of goods until bill has been paid
2.3.4 Kelly

Annotations:

  • Decided Section 5 (1) doesn't include the word lawful, so any form of possession will suffice.
2.3.4.1 Person can be convicted of stealing stolen goods from a thief who had possession of the stolen goods.
2.3.5 Woodman

Annotations:

  • D took a van to a disused factory and removed some scrap metal. Disused factory belonged to a company and scrap metal had been sold to another company, who left behind some metal. Owner did not know there was any metal left but was still in control of the site. D convicted.
2.3.5.1 Person can control property even though he may not be aware he possess it
2.3.6 Abandoned property means there is no owner. However there is a problem of what amounts to abandonment or simply being lost.

Annotations:

  • Lost golf balls on a golf course belong to course owner and are not abandoned goods and therefore can be stolen. However, those lost on public land have no ownership and therefore cannot be stolen.  
2.3.6.1 Section 5(3)
2.3.6.1.1 'Where a person receives property from, or on account of another, and is under obligation to another to retain and deal with that property and its proceeds in a particular way.'

Annotations:

  • Regarded as belonging to another
2.3.6.1.2 Involve money being given for a particular purpose
2.3.6.1.2.1 Davidge and Bunnett

Annotations:

  • D shared a flat with several others, who gave her cheques to pay their communal gas bill. However she spent the proceeds on Christmas presents and left the flat without giving notice. She was under a legal obligation to use the proceeds to pay the gas bill. Convicted.
2.3.6.1.2.1.1 Hall

Annotations:

  • Money paid as a deposit to a business, prosecution must prove there was a legal obligation to retain and deal with deposits in particular way.
  • D was travel agent who received deposits from clients. Paid deposits into general business account but never organised any tickets and was unable to return the money. Convicted of theft, but was quashed on appeal because when Hall received deposits he was under no legal obligation to deal with them in a particular way.
2.3.6.1.2.1.1.1 Problem remedied- Section 5(2)
2.3.6.1.2.1.1.1.1 'Where property is subject to a trust, the persons whom it belongs shall be regarded as incl any person having a right to enforce the trust, and an intention to defeat the trust shall be regarded with an intention to deprive.'
2.3.6.1.3 DPP V Huskinson

Annotations:

  • D sent a cheque for housing benefit. Used some of the proceeds of the cheque to pay arrears of rent, but spent some on himself. No legal requirement to use the money to pay rent arrears. Not convicted.
2.3.6.2 Property obtained by mistake
2.3.6.2.1 Section 5(4)
2.3.6.2.1.1 'an intention not to make a restoration shall be regarded accordingly as an intention to deprive.'
2.3.6.2.2 Overpaid wages
3 Mens Rea
3.1 Dishonesty
3.1.1 No definition, assumed to have natural meaning
3.1.2 Act gives 3 specific situations where a person would not be dishonest in Section 2(1)
3.1.2.1 Belief in Right

Annotations:

  • Requires honest but not necessarily a reasonable belief that D had a right to take the item.
3.1.2.1.1 Subjective Test

Annotations:

  • D to convince jury that he reasonably held that belief
3.1.2.1.2 Small

Annotations:

  • D noticed old, scruffy car parked on road for over a week with key in ignition. Parts were missing, no petrol. Believed car had been abandoned by owner and so had a legal right to take it, even though owner could have been found through reg no. No guilty.
3.1.2.2 Belief in Consent

Annotations:

  • Requires honest belief that the owner of the goods would consent if he knew of the circumstances. Example: borrowing a friends pen without asking and later returning it.
3.1.2.3 Belief that property is lost

Annotations:

  • Situations of finding items and keeping them. It requires an honest belief by D that owner cannot be found by taking reasonable steps. Example: find a £1 coin and not seeing where it came from.
3.1.3 Test for Dishonesty

Annotations:

  • When no exceptions apply.
3.1.3.1 Ghosh
3.1.3.2 Would D's behaviour be regarded as dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people?

Annotations:

  • Part 1- Objective Test. Jusry have to put themselves in shoes of a reasonable man. If answer is 'no'- not been dishonest.
3.1.3.3 Was D aware that his conduct would be regarded as dishonest by reasonable and honest people?

Annotations:

  • Part 2- Subjective Test. Jury have to put themselves in shoes of D.
3.2 Intention to Permanently Deprive
3.2.1 Section 6(1) explains meaning
3.2.2 Disposing of the Property
3.2.2.1 Marshall

Annotations:

  • Refer to Property.
3.2.2.2 DPP V J and Others

Annotations:

  • D took and broke V's headphones and gave them back. Question of whether there was an intention to deprive arose and it is considered that there was such an intention. Value of item lost.
3.2.3 Borrowing Property
3.2.3.1 Llyod

Annotations:

  • D worked as projectionist and was responsible for looking after films. Took films home for a few hours and copied them however they were always back in time for advertised screening. No convicted of theft: didn't permanently deprive owner, however value had gone down.
3.2.3.2 Velumyl

Annotations:

  • D, without authority from company, took £1050 from safe at work to lend to a friend. It was on condition of that a private loan and was to be repaid back on Monday. However, during the period it was gone a spot check took place. Court concluded that he had no intention of returning exact coins he had taken. Intention was to return objects of equivalent value.
3.2.4 Conditional Intent

Annotations:

  • Occurs in situation where D intends to steal something on condition it is worth stealing.
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