How many of these can you answer?
1 mark Which act covers theft? What type of offence is
Name one thing which is
Why was the property
still controlled in
What is the maximum
sentence for theft?
2 marks Does the property have
to be lawfully owned?
What was D searching
for in Rostron?
Name all five elements
What do we mean by
Who still retained an
interest in the property
in Marshall, Coombes
3 marks What is the importance
of Turner No. 2?
Explain the difference
between Hall and
Klineberg & Marsden
When can you steal a
Why didn’t D have to
pay it back in Gilks?
Why was D not guilty in
Dyke and Munro?
What if D consents?
“an assumption by a person of the rights of an
owner amounts to an appropriation and this
includes where he has come by the property
...without stealing it, any later assumption of a
right to it by keeping or dealing with it.”
This is wider than ownership…
What rights does it include?
s.3 Theft Act 1968
Which approach to choose?
What about gifts?
Consolidating your knowledge
Case Facts? Has there been an
D took whiskey from a display stand in a supermarket and put
it in his shopping bag, intending to steal it. He was stopped
before he got to the payment area.
D put items from the supermarket shelves in a trolley,
meaning to steal them, but then changed his mind and
abandoned the trolley, walking out the store.
Eddy v Niman
DD were carers for 99 year old Betty and took over control
of her money after her daughter died. They benefited from
funds and shares and claimed that they were gifts, with
Betty’s consent, even if her mental capacity was failing.
Hopkins & Kendrick
To prove you understand what you’re doing...
Apply the law on appropriation to each of these. (Aim for a case to stretch yourself in your
To show your understanding
this lesson, pick one of the
three scenarios here and
explain why there is liability
for theft there.
Remember your targets and
those all important skills!
E A clear reason, which refers to one of the
elements of AR and may mention a case
A clear reason, which is supported by a
relevant , applied case
A clear reason which addresses more
than one area of the definition, and is
clearly supported by well selected cases.
John picks up a jacket from the sofa in the
sixth form common room. It’s not his. He
puts it on and walks about. He then finds
a mobile phone in the pocket, and uses it
to phone his aunt in the USA.
Sarah finds a purse on the floor of the
canteen. She opens it, but there is no
identification. She asks the staff whether
they recognise it. They don’t. She finds a
scratchcard which won £1000 in it, and
decides to keep it.
Joachim is an exchange student from
Germany. Joe, his exchange partner, takes
him to the canteen to buy a hot
chocolate. Joachim is unsure of English
money and hands over a £20 note. Joe
keeps the change.
What’s the odd one out?
Klineberg & Marsden
Eddy v Niman
Kelley & Lindsay
Oxford v Moss
What is dishonesty?
You are going to see 10 scenarios.
All of you need to decide whether
not you would be dishonest
Most of you will be asked to
explain your decision
Some of you will be able to come
up with a test for how we tell if
you are dishonest!
You find an envelope on the
floor and it has £100 in it.
You look around and see a
man disappearing in the
You are owed money by your
employer and so when you do
some extra work, you over
charge them to get your
You are from a country where, if
goods are put outside a shop,
you can just help yourself. You
walk past a shop which has
clothes on display outside it
and take a pair of jeans.
You are given a tea set by
your aunt, and have it
valued. The auctioneer tells
you it is worth £10 and buys
it from you. He then resells it
for its actual price of £1000
You go into the common room
and pick up your coat. It is not
You take £200 from Miss
Hart’s coffee fund to feed
You are panicking about the
Law Exam, and go into the
library and take one of the law
books, assuming the librarian
would be ok with this.
You take £5 from your mum’s
purse to buy your lunch and
travel to school.
Your bag is stolen and you
make a claim. In the details,
you say that your phone is a
better version than it was,
and that you had £50 in your
wallet (you only had £5)
You are in supermarket and
notice that they have priced
your favourite chocolates at
only 10p on the shelf, when
they should be £10. You buy
s.2 Theft Act 1968
So what does the law actually say?
(1) A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another is not to
be regarded as dishonest-
(a) 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
(b) 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
(c) (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
(2) A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another may be
dishonest notwithstanding that he is willing to pay for the property.
So, what then is dishonesty? Well, we turn to the courts…
1. Has D been dishonest by the
standards of the ordinary, honest
and reasonable person?
2. If the answer is yes, then did D
realise that they were dishonest by
Only if the answer to both these
questions is yes can D be legally
Some further dishonest thoughts…
No loss has to take
Dishonesty does have
…and another honest
s.6 Theft Act 1968
Intention to Permanently Deprive
How ‘permanent’ is ‘permanent’?
Does deprive just
mean get rid of?
What if you intend to
replace the property?
What if you offer to let
the owner buyback
What if they’re going to
get the property back?
What if you intend to return
it, and haven’t actually
What if you’re only looking
for something specific?
Check you’ve got the basics…
Quick test: match the section to the element, and the pictorial case clue!
s.2 s.3s.5 s.6 s.4
Intention to permanently
Belonging to another
Theft… the key information
Apply that law!
Look at each of these situations and tell me what is wrong. Why is there no theft?
5. Jamie picks up Clive’s mobile
phone. It’s identical to his.
1. Sue takes Sandra’s DVD, watches it
and then puts it back.
2. Jemima is cheap and hacks into her
neighbour’s electricity supply.
3. Richard picks wild flowers for his
6. James gives Louis £200 as a
holding deposit on a holiday.
7. Ken finds £5 on the floor and
8. Skipper looks at an exam paper.
9. Julia picks up gnomes outside
garden shops to take home, just as
she would in her homeland of
4. Paul picks up a gold watch,
intending to take it, but abandons
it before leaving the shop. .
10. Bob the dog takes a tennis ball
from Louise’s back garden
Can you evaluate this area of the law?
This is interpreted
very widely, only one
right needs to be
shoplifters are guilty
before leaving the
shop, and even if D
... It might be wide,
but it is only one of
There are some things that can’t be
stolen, and the law had stretched the
meaning in establishing that sometime
body parts can be property.
...however, the act
provides a whole set
of detailed rules on
what can and cannot
They take a wider meaning
than belonging – covering
others who may have a
proprietary right or interest
in the property.
... However there are
exceptions (Gilks/ AG
Ref) and it is
Turner No2 sets a
This seems to be the most
technical aspect of the law,
and ignores the intentions or
dishonesty of the defendant
e.g. To return the money in
...in addition, the exclusion of the
‘conditional’ intent (Easom) is out of line
with the law on burglary under the
A special problem?
“Reasonable & honest
Is there such a thing? It is
possible for the jury to think
D was not dishonest, and
thus be NG, even where D
was dishonest by D’s own
“Ghosh test is
It’s difficult for the jury to
understand and therefore lead
to longer and more expensive
trials, even if it is only brought
up where the dishonesty is in
Lack of guidance
Because it is left to the jury
to decide, there are no
precedents to show what
kind of behaviour is
dishonest within the Act
This is designed to address
the ‘honest mistake’
scenario, but can be easily
argued and thus may result
in far more appeals.
element of the test
The Law Commission is not much help as their response is that we live in a hetrodox and plural society
Complete the grid!