This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Law Notes Criminal Law Notes

Theft Notes

Updated Theft Notes

Criminal Law Notes

Criminal Law

Approximately 1072 pages

Criminal Law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB criminal law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

These were the best Criminal Law notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through dozens of LLB samples from outstanding law students with the highest...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Offences Against Property – Theft

  1. Elements of offence – D is guilty of theft if he –

    1. Appropriates

    2. Property

    3. Belonging to another

    4. Dishonestly

    5. With an intention permanently to deprive

  2. Appropriation

    1. S.3(1) – any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation

    2. HoL

      1. Appropriation if D assumes any of the rights of the owner (Lawrence, Gomez)

        1. Offer it for sale or destroy it for e.g., but must be something only owner has the right to do

      2. Non-consent from V not necessary – and in fact V’s state of mind is irrelevant as to whether there is appropriation

        1. Hinks – HoL held even if property was handed over by V to D as part of a valid gift, there could be appropriation

    3. Can an omission amount to appropriation?

      1. Where D goes to a supermarket with her toddler, who brings back a toy which D has not paid for, and who has now thrown the toy in a garden – if D leaves the toy there, has he/she appropriated it?

        1. No definitive ruling, but s.3(1) describes an appropriation as including “keeping…as owner” – may be necessary to show D kept the property for a significant length of time

    4. Purchaser in good faith will not appropriate

      1. S.3(2) – person buying property bona fide will not become a thief on discovering that property is stolen, but if he/she was aware the property may be stolen when purchasing it, they might be guilty

  3. Property

    1. S.4(1) – includes money and real or personal property, including intangible property

    2. Land cannot be stolen

  4. Belonging to another

    1. S.5(1) – having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest

      1. Does not just belong to person who owns it , but also anyone who has possession or control of it

      2. Does not have to be lawful possession or control (Kelly)

  5. Intent permanently to deprive

    1. Core meaning

      1. There must be intention – an absent minded D cannot commit theft

      2. Need not show that D intended to acquire the property; only to deprive V of the property – throwing something out of a train window can amount to theft

      3. Intention to return the thing in a similar quantity or quality is not good enough – D still intended to deprive V of the money he/she took at that point of time

        1. However, where D intended to provide replacement, this would be relevant in deciding whether there was dishonesty

      4. D need not intend to deprive by act of appropriation; if D moves a tin of beans to a shelf by the door of a supermarket so that he can run off with it later, this is theft

      5. Conditional intentionEasom where D picked up a handbag, looked through it and decided there was nothing worth stealing – acquitted on the basis that he could not have intended permanently to deprive V of any of these items. General view, however, is that D could have been convicted if the charge had been carefully drafted – on the basis that he intended permanently to deprive V of the contents (if he found them valuable)

    2. S.6 extension to meaning of permanent deprivation

  6. Dishonesty

**Theft Act 1968 ss. 1-7

Section 1 - Basic definition of theft.

  1. A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

  2. It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief’s own benefit.

  3. The five following sections of this Act shall have effect as regards the interpretation and operation of this section (and, except as otherwise provided by this Act, shall apply only for purposes of this section).

Section 2 - “Dishonestly”

  1. A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another is not to be regarded as dishonest—

    1. if he appropriates the property in the belief that he has in law the right to deprive the other of it, on behalf of himself or of a third person; or

      1. [Law is unclear – because criminal & civil law give different answers, “has in law the right” – unclear which this is referring to. Hinks – favours criminal law where there is a conflict]

    2. if he appropriates the property in the belief that he would have the other’s consent if the other knew of the appropriation and the circumstances of it; or

    3. (except where the property came to him as trustee or personal representative) if he appropriates the property in the belief that the person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps

  2. A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another may be dishonest notwithstanding that he is willing to pay for the property.

Section 3 - Appropriates”.

  1. Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a right to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner.

  2. Where property or a right or interest in property is or purports to be transferred for value to a person acting in good faith, no later assumption by him of rights which he believed himself to be acquiring shall, by reason of any defect in the transferor’s title, amount to theft of the property.

Section 4 – “Property”.

  1. “Property” includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.

  2. A person cannot steal land, or things forming part of land and severed from it by him or by his directions, except in the following cases, that it to say—

    1. when he is a trustee or personal representative, or is authorised by power of attorney, or as liquidator of a company, or otherwise, to sell or dispose of land belonging to another, and he appropriates the land or anything forming part of it by dealing with it in breach of the confidence reposed in him; or

    2. when he is not in possession of the land and appropriates anything forming part of the land by severing it or causing it to be severed, or after it has been severed; or

    3. when, being in possession of the land under a tenancy, he...

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Criminal Law Notes.

More Criminal Law Samples