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Theft Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

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A more recent version of these Theft notes – written by Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students – is available here.

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Criminal: Theft
- s1(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.

- AR: appropriation of property belonging to another
- MR: dishonesty + intention to permanently deprive.

Actus Reus: appropriation of property belonging to another.

- Appropriation - s3 TA 1968. s3(1) TA 1968: any assumption of the rights of an owner. inc. where he has come by the property without stealing it any later assumption by keeping/dealing with it. any 1 of owner's rights (R v Morris: d. switched labels in shop; R v Pitham & Hehl: d. posed as house owner). consent irrelevant: appropriation neutral (R v Gomez, [Ld B-W]: objective description of act done). theft of gift possible (R v Hinks: d. tricked man into giving money). later appropriation: still appropriation (s3(1)) ? if initial assumption not theft, theft can occur when d. forms MR.
+ appropriation can be continuing act (R v Hale). innocent purchaser (good faith, for value) of stolen property not liable (s3(2); R v Adams).

- Property - s4 TA 1968. s4(1) TA 1968: money + all other property, real or personal, inc. things in action + intangible property. property which may NOT be stolen: s4(2): land or part of land (UNLESS: (a): in breach of trust; (b): not in possession + severs anything forming part of land; (c): tenant taking fixtures). s4(3): wild growing things (UNLESS: for reward or sale or commercial purpose). s4(4): wild creatures/carcass not tamed or kept in captivity (UNLESS: reduced into possession by other). confidential information (Oxford v Moss: student looked at exam paper before set ? not guilty). electricity (Low v Blease: burglar made telephone call ? not guilty).

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