Major Legislation of that deals with Theft
Theft Act 1968
s. 1(1) Definition of Theft
A person is guilty of theft if they dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another with the intention to permanent deprive the other of it , there need be no view to gain from these actions or provide any benefit whatsoever.
s. 2 Partial Definition of Honesty MR
Belief that he has the right to deprive the other of it, Belief that he would have the other's consent if the other knew of the appropriation and circumstances of it, belief that the person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps
Test for Dishonesty:
Freely: if there is dishonesty that a matter of fact to be decided by the jury, GHOSH TEST: 1) Was what D did dishonest according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people? 2) If so, did D himself realise that his conduct was dishonest by those standards?
s.3 'Appropriates' AR
s. 3(1) Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation , innocently or not without stealing it and later assumption of a right by keeping it or dealing with it as owner
Appropriates: R v Morris
Switching labels on goods at a supermarket and paid the lower price then arrested , this was an assumption of the actions of an owner because he bought the goods
Consent of the owner not relevant to appropriation:
R v Gomez - A person can appropriate property even though he had the owner's consent or authority to exercise the right in question
Acceptance of Valid gifts as Appropriation:
Hinks - The acquisition of an indefeasible title to property is capable of amounting to an appropriation for the purposes of theft.
includes money and all other property , real (land and things attached to land ) or personal (including things in action) and other intangible property
What things are not capable of being stolen?
Confidential Information, Human Corpse, Electricity, Stealing land> s. 4(2) , Picking wild mushrooms, flowers, fruit or foliage>s. 4(3) , wild creatures> s4 (3)
s.5 'Belonging to another'
Property shall be considered to belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest (not equitable interest arising only from an agreement to transfer or grant an interest)
s.5(2) Property belonging to another when the property is under a trust
In the case where there are no individual beneficiaries in such as a charitable trust then there could be the if stolen then it could be enforced the trust by the AG
s. 5(3) Property received under an obligation to retain and deal with it in a particular way
When you pass off property to do something in particular then it is not used in the way that it was intended this is theft. Only if there is a legal obligation to deal with the property in a prescribed way. R v Hall - Travel agent had deposit for a flight but nothing happened sued for theft but failed
s. 5(4) Property transferred under a mistake and with a legal obligation
Mistake: Mistake as to the ID of the object
Legal Obligation: Legal obligation under the law of restitution of the property received from V
s. 7 Maximum punishment for Theft
No more than 7 years
s. 6 (1) 'Intention to permanently deprive'
need not actually be permanent, appropriation must be complete, 2 Parts Where it is D's intention to treat the thing as his own to dispose of regardless of the other's rights and A borrowing or lending equivalent to an outright taking or disposal
s. 6(2) Parting with property under a condition as to its return
under a condition as to its return as to its return which he may not be able to perform
D's state of mind where he looks for something to steal, as where he rifles through a handbag to see if there is anything worth taking. If he then replaces the bag and its contents intact has he stolen anything? Easom: No IPD with the facts presented above