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Flashcards in Theft Deck (33):

AG's Ref (No.1 of 1983)

Ratio: If someone receives too much money by mistake and realises, there is a legal obligation to return it.

Facts: A policewoman was paid too much salary by mistake. She realised and decided to keep it.


Davidge v Bunnett

Ratio: It is possible to have a legal obligation in a domestic situation where there is an unambiguous obligation to use the money for a certain purpose.

Facts: Defendant received money from housemates to pay heating bill. She used it for Christmas presents instead. Held that there was a legal obligation to use it for the heating bill.


Hibbert v McKiernen

Ratio: If someone takes sufficient steps to demonstrate intention exclude trespassers from their private land, any items found will belong to them.

Facts: A golf club had erected fences to prevent people stealing 'lost' golf balls from the course.


Low v Blease

Ratio: Electricity is not property for the purposes of the Theft Act.


Oxford v Moss

Ratio: Confidential information is not property for the purposes of the Theft Act.

Facts: University student found and read a copy of an upcoming exam paper. Held that he had not stolen the paper.


Parker v British Airways Board

Ratio: If someone takes sufficient steps to demonstrate intention to control items found on their land, any items found will belong to them.

Facts: BA did not exhibit an intention to control the area and so the customer who found the valuable bracelet was allowed to keep it.


R v Adams

Ratio: Innocent purchasers are not liable for theft - s.32 TA 1968.


R v Cahill

Ratio: Defined 'treat the thing as his own' under s.6(1) TA as 'to deal with definitely, to get rid of, finish, make over by way of sale or bargain'.

Facts: Cahill moved a bundle of newspapers from outside a shop to his friend's door as a joke.


R v Fernandes

Ratio: Dealing with property in a way that risks its loss amounts to treating the thing as one's own - s.6(1) TA.

Facts: Defendant embezzled money from his client and invested it. He intended to return the money but that was irrelevant.


Ivey v Genting

Ratio: Established test for dishonesty. 1. What was the defendant's state of knowledge at the time? 2. Was the defendant's act dishonest by the standard of the ordinary, honest person?


R v Gomez

Ratio: Appropriation is a neutral act. It is possible to appropriate with the consent of the owner.

Facts: Gomez allowed a friend to purchase goods from the shop he worked in with stolen cheques. The manager authorised the sales but did not realise the cheques would bounce.


R v Hall

Ratio: If money is not given for a particular purpose, it does not still belong to the giver.

Facts: Money was given to a travel agent to pay for flights. The travel agent went bankrupt before the flights had been booked and the money had been used to pay other costs. Held that the money was not given specifically to buy the flights and so the money did not belong to another for the purpose of s.5(3) TA.


R v Hinks

Ratio: Appropriation is a neutral act. It is possible to appropriate a gift.

Facts: Hinks cared for a man of limited intelligence who gave her tens of thousands of pounds over the course of a year. Held to be theft although it was a gift.


R v Klineberg and Marsden

Ratio: 1. If money is given for a specific legal purpose it will belong to another for the purpose of s.5(3) TA. 2. Where there are express assurances about the use of the money it is likely to be deemed to be given for a purpose.

Facts: Money was given to the defendant to invest in a timeshare. Defendant gave many assurances about what would specifically happen to the money. The investment was fraudulent. This was held to be theft.


R v Lloyd

Ratio: 1. Borrowing property can be an intention to permanently deprive where it is returned with all its value and usefulness gone. 2. No need to consider s.6 where it is clear that the defendant intends the owner to lose property permanently.

Facts: Defendant took films from the cinema he worked in to burn copies and sell before returning. No ITPD as they were returned unchanged.


R v Mitchell

Ratio: If stolen property is easy to recover, this will be evidence that there was not ITPD.

Facts: Stolen car was left a short distance down the road with doors open and hazards on. No ITPD.


R v Morris

Ratio: Appropriation requires the assumption of only one right.

Facts: Morris switched price labels on supermarket goods. Held to be assumption of the right of an owner.


R v Pitham and Hehl

Ratio: Offering an item for sale is an assumption of the rights of the owner and so an appropriation.


R v Raphael

Ratio: For the purpose of s.6(1) TA, 'treating the thing as his own to dispose of' includes ransom situations.

Facts: Defendant took cars from his victims, and demanded money to return them. Held that he did have ITPD.


R v Robinson

Ratio: It is only necessary to hold a subjectively honest belief in one of the exceptions under s.2(1) TA.

Facts: Defendant was owed money. He argued with the debtor's husband and when the he dropped some money, the defendant picked it up. Held not to be theft as he honestly believed he was entitled to it.


R v Turner

Ratio: 1. 'Belonging to another' has a wide definition that includes possession, control and any proprietary right. 2. You can steal your own property.

Facts: Defendant took his car from the garage where it was being repaired because he did not want to pay for the work that had been done.


R v Velumyl

Ratio: Replacing property with identical but different property is still an ITPD.

Facts: Velumyl stole money from the safe at work, intending to replace it the next working day. Held there was ITPD because he would not be returning the exact same tender.


R v Wain

Ratio: There can be a legal obligation to deal with proceeds in a certain way which means they remain property belonging to another under s.5.(3) TA.

Facts: Defendant received money for a charity telethon. This was held to be property belonging to another under s.5(3) TA.


R v Woodman

Ratio: Where owners of private land have exhibited an intention to exclude trespassers, any property found on the land will belong to them.

Facts: Defendant stole scrap metal from an abandoned factory. He argued that there was no owner of the property and so it could not be stolen. Court held that because the factory owners had erected a fence, they had demonstrated a desire to control the land and so, even though they were unaware of the scrap metal, it belonged to them.


Williams v Phillips

Ratio: 1. Courts are highly reluctant to find property has been abandoned. 2. Property placed in bins is not abandoned until taken away when it becomes property of council.

Facts: Bin-men were caught stealing from bins.


R v Hale

Ratio: Appropriation can be a continuing act.


R v Breaks and Huggan

Ratio: s.5(3) TA does not create an obligation, it will only apply if an obligation is found.

Facts: Money given to an insurance broker was not meant to be used in a certain way.


Chase-Manhattan Bank v Israel-British Bank

Ratio: Property given by mistake can create a constructive trust.


Edwards v Odin

Ratio: dishonest intent must be formed at the time the goods belong to another.


R v Vinall

Ratio: For s.6(1) TA 'to dispose of' is central.


R v Scott

Ratio: Trying to sell the owner their own property is ITPD.

Note - Robert Hiscocks considers this a ransom case.


R v Waters

Ratio: Using owner's property as ransom will not be ITPD unless condition as to item's return can be easily fulfilled and may be.



Ratio: Rendering property useless = ITPD.