The Learning & Resource Section
BACK TO CRIMINAL LAW

The Law of Theft

The Law of Theft


A person is guilty of theft if they dishonestly appropriate property that does not belong to them in which they have the intention to permanently deprive the other of that property. This is set out in s.1(1) of the Theft Act 1968. The maximum sentence is 7 years imprisonment.


Actus reus of theft :


Any appropriation of property that belongs to another.


Mens rea of theft :


Dishonesty and the intention to permanently deprive another

  • Intention to permanently deprive


Making off without payment:


The offence of making off without payment was introduced under s.3 of the Theft Act of 1978 in response to a gap under the Act in which a person who forms a dishonest intent to not pay for goods or services could be convicted. For example, it covers activities such as when a person leaves a restaurant, a hotel or fills up petrol and takes off without paying. It is a triable either-way offence that holds a maximum sentence if tried on indictment for 2 years or 6 months if tried summarily.


Actus reus :


The actus reus of making off without payment consists of is when a person makes off without payment where payment is required or expected on the spot or where goods or services are done.


Mens rea :


The

mens rea

of making off without payment is when


knowledge of that payment is required or expected

and a person is

dishonest

or has

the intention to permanently avoid payment.

Your Are Correct !
Your Are Incorrect !