Property Offences



  •      1(1) of the 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; and ‘thief’ and ‘steal’ shall be construed accordingly”.


Actus Reus of Theft


  1. A) The appropriation of
  2. B) Property
  3. C) Belonging to another


Common law exceptions:


  •  Electricity – not property
  •  Services – Failure to pay for a service is not theft. Instead it is a fraud offence.
  •  Information


Mens Rea


The mens rea of theft is


1) Dishonest appropriation

2) Intention to permanently deprive


The new “Ivey test”:


  • A) What was the actual state of D’s knowledge or belief as to the facts?

B) In the context of (A), was D’s conduct dishonest by the standards of ordinary decent people?

  • Intention to permanently deprive
  • Replacing with similar property: 
  • Removing value from the property
  • Abandoning the property:
  • Conditional intent is now sufficient for theft


Relevant case law:


R v Morris, Anderton v Burnside [1983] 3 WLR 697


Lawrence v MPC [1972] AC 626


Oxford v Moss [1979] 68 Cr App Rep 183


R v Marshall, Coombes & Eren [1998] 2 Cr App R 282


R v Hall [1973] 1 QB 496


R v Velumyl [1989] Crim LR 29


R v Gosh [1982] 3 WLR 110


Ivey v Genting Casinos UKSC [2017]





  •      8(1) of the Theft Act 1968:


  •      A person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so and in order to so, he used force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.


Theft + force of threat of force = robbery


Relevant case law:


R v James [1997] EWCA Crim 718


R v Dawson and James [1976] 64 Cr App R 150


P v DPP [2012] EWHC 1657


R v Khan [2001] EWCA Crim 486





s.9 of the Theft Act 1968: Two types of burglary


Actus Reus


  •      Entering a building or any part of a building as a trespasser.


Mens Rea


  •     There are two elements for the mens rea of both s.9(1) and s.9(2) offences:
  •     Intention or recklessness as to the trespass
  •     Intention to commit the ulterior offence


Relevant case law:


R v Brown [1985] Crim LR 212


R v Walkington [1979] 1 WLR 1169