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Robbery, Blackmail And Burglary Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Robbery, Blackmail And Burglary notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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Criminal: Robbery, Blackmail, Burglary Robbery

- s8(1) Theft Act 1968: a person is guilty of robbery if he steals and immediately before or at the doing so, and in order to so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.

Actus Reus: theft + force or threats of force immediately before or at time of stealing.

- Theft AR: appropriation of property belonging to another (s1(1) TA 1968) - all elements needed. R v Robinson: d. brandished knife + demanded money owed by v. ? not guilty: s2(1)(a) defence. Corcoran v Anderton: 2 ds. tried to steal v's handbag, grabbed but failed ? guilty: appropriation inc. touching.

- Force of threats of force: aggravating element - distinguishes robbery from theft.

1. use of force: not defined - q. of fact for jury (R v Dawson & James). violence not required (R v Dawson & James: ds nudged v. + took wallet ? guilty). can be applied through property (R v Clouden: d. grabbed v's shopping bag from hand ? guilty).

2. OR: puts person in fear of being then + there subjected to force. v. need only apprehend, not fear force (R v DPP). maybe apprehension not needed (R v DPP: doubted whether needed, cf. earlier Grant v CPS).

3. OR: seeks to put person in fear of being then + there subjected to force (INTENTION sufficient). d. must intend v. to be aware of threat to self (R v Taylor: not threat to 3rd party who is unaware).

- On any person: need not be directed against person from whom property stolen (but target of threat must be aware).

- Immediately before or at time of stealing. can be after: appropriation continuing act (R v Hale: ds. took jewellery box then threatened owner ? guilty). threat must still be operating on v. + d. aware (R v Donaghy & Marshall: ds. forced taxi driver to make journey with threats, then stole money but did not repeat threats ? not guilty).

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