Raheen could be charged with theft

Raheen could be charged with theft. Theft is described under Section of the Theft Act 1968 as a person who “dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.” This is a crime of specific intent and can be triable either way. This means that In order to be guilty of theft Raheen must have the actus Reus and mens rea of theft.
The actus Reus of theft consists of the appropriation of property belonging to another. Appropriation is the act of theft. Under section 3(1) of the Theft Act 1968 “any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation”, which means doing something only the owner can do with their property. The case of R v Morris links to appropriation in which Morris took goods from a supermarket and switched labels with cheaper products, he then went to checkout, but was arrested before he could pay for them. Morris claimed there was no appropriation as he had not left the premises therefore had not assumed the rights of the owner but was still found guilty due to appropriating the goods. However the House of Lords held “it is enough for the prosecution to have proved…the assumption of any of the rights of the owner…” The case of R V Gomez, allowed the meaning of appropriation to widen further as it was unclear whether the deception act should have been charged under the 1978 theft act. In Gomez a question arose of whether there had been appropriation as the manager had consented to the goods being taken as the manager had authorised exchanging his goods for the cheques, but they had bounced. In the case of R V Hinks befriended a man with learning difficulties who had been left money from his father. Allegedly Hinks encouraged the man to withdraw the £60000, and put it into Hink’s bank account over time. It was argued that the money was a gift, and the victim had consented for Hink’s to appropriate the money as a gift therefore it as not theft. However it was held that appropriation exists even when the victim consents. Following the case of Lawrence which stated an appropriation can take place notwithstanding the consent of the owner and upheld the conviction. This is due to the fact that an appropriation does not require absence of consent. In this scenario Raheen appropriated the property by taking the £1200 from his employers safe for a loan which was not possible under company rules, and therefore was not consented to as it was made clear that he was not allowed to take a loan for a personal reason. Therefore Raheen can be charged with theft since he has appropriation.
Under S4 (1) of the theft act 1968, property includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action. Therefore the money (£1200) that Raheen took was appropriated as he took it even though he was denied permission, and assumed it was his own, to return later. The money he took can be appropriated as property includes money under the theft act 1968.In R V Kelly and others (1998) the defendants took unexpired underground tickets from the public and sold them to potential underground customers. The court of appeal stated that the cards were a thing in action as they allowed the purchaser the right to travel. The thing in action only gave the original purchaser the right to travel, therefore property had been appropriated by selling them to someone else for their use.
S5 (1) states that “property shall be regarded as belonging to anyone having possession or control of it, or having any proprietary right or interest” this basically means that property belongs to and therefore can be stolen from anyone who has ownership and possession or control of it. In R V Woodman (1974) woodman took a van to a disused factory and removed scrap metal that the factory failed to remove for over a year. Woodman was guilty even though the owner didn’t know of this metal being left as the owner was still in control of the site. The case of woodman defines the term ownership as the legal right to the possession of a thing and possession is the control a person’s intentional exercise toward a thing. In this scenario Raheen would still be guilty of taking it as although Raheen took the money without his employer knowing, the employer was still in possession of and therefore had control of the money. Section 5(3) describes that property can be received for a particular purpose. The property can be given by a person to another person for a certain purpose. The property belongs to the original owner until the other person carries out the purpose. In the case of Davidge V Bennet the defendant received cheques from her flat mates to pay for the gas bill but spent the money on Christmas presents instead without paying the gas bill. She was held liable as they were given with a clear obligation to pay the gas bill. In Raheens case he was not allowed to use the money for his own purposes and only for company use.
To conclude Raheen does have the actus Reus to commit theft under the theft act.
To have the mens rea of theft, Raheen must act with s2 dishonesty and s6 intend to permanently deprive the victim of the property. Guidance of dishonesty is given in s2(1) in which “a person’s appropriation of property belonging to another is not to be regarded as dishonest if he has either a belief in legal right, belief the other person would consent or belief true owner cannot be found”. In the case of R V Robinson the defendant was owed £7 by a woman and when he asked for it and a fight developed between the defendant and the woman’s husband. During the fight a £5 note fell out of the husbands pocket and the defendant picked it up and kept it. Raheen’s appropriation of property belonging to another is not to be regarded as dishonest if he has belief that he has the right in law to deprive the other of it. In Raheens situation he knew he didn’t have the right in law to deprive his employer of the money therefore this does not apply. The second situation is that Raheen must believe the other person would consent.in the r v Holden case the appellant working in kwikfit, took some used tyres and was convicted of theft but when he appealed stating other workers had done the same and he believed he could do the same. However his employment contract forbid him from taking the items. It was held that his conviction was quashed by the court of appeal as dishonesty is judged subjectively and it’s the defendants belief alone that counts not what he actually permitted or forbidden from doing. In Raheen’s situation Raheen had asked his employer for a loan so it does not apply as he already knows that the owner wouldn’t consent. The third situation is that Raheen must believe that the true owner cannot be found. In the case of R V Small the appellant took a car which he believed had been abandoned. It had been left in the same place for two weeks with the keys. His conviction was quashed as he believed the owners couldn’t be found. In this situation, this does not apply as Raheen knew where his employer was.
Since none of the three negatives apply and are not covered by section 2 of the theft act 1981, a common law principle has been created stating the meaning of dishonesty as “an ordinary word for the court to decide according to the standards of ordinary reasonable and honest people”, which is known as the Ghosh test. In R V Ghosh a surgeon claimed fees which were not his and he was charged with obtaining property by deception. The court of appeal set a test for dishonesty in the theft act. Lord Lane stated that the following questions “Was the action dishonest according to the standards of a reasonable and honest man?” and “Did the defendant realise what he or she was doing was dishonest according to those standards?” need to be asked. In the case of Raheen, the action of taking the money without consent was dishonest according to the standards of a reasonable man, also Raheen did realise that what he was doing was wrong, considering he was going to return it.
In the case of Ivey v Gent Casinos the Ghosh test was mentioned by Lord Hughes and overruled Ghosh. in the case of R v Pabon if only the first limb for Ghosh is applied it is going to be dishonest . What this means for Raheen is that under the second limb he realised he was being dishonest.
Finally, Raheen needs to have the intention to permanently deprive his employer of the money. Since the ordinary meaning of the words is used, there is no definition of this in the theft act 1968. Therefore there is an intention to deprive permanently when the defendant doesn’t plan to return the property like in Velumyl in which the same notes and coins would not have been returned. In R V Lloyd, a cinema associate produced a master video tape of the cinema movies which were then returned to the cinema, to make pirate videos; as there was no intention to permanently to deprive, the convictions were quashed. In the case of Raheen, he can’t give back different notes due to serial numbers, therefore there would still be intention to permanently deprive.
Therefore Raheen would be guilty.
In the next scenario, James and Sean would be the defendants as James tried to grab Raheens bag while Sean was on the lookout. Robbery is an offence under section 8 of the theft act 1968. ” a person is guilty of robbery if he steals, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, he uses force on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.” It is an aggravated form of theft. The elements of the actus Reus and mens rea of theft which are also required for robbery have already been discussed above. The actus Reus of robbery is the actus reus of theft with an addition of force or threatening force against another person.
I have already defined the word ‘appropriation’ but the only difference here is that Gomez widened the meaning of appropriation, and there is no need for the defendant to have gotten away with the property, just like Sean and James left empty handed. In Corcoran V Anderton the appropriation occurred when they tugged at her bag and snatched it, even though they left it behind and went away empty handed. In this situation, the bag filled with money was the property as mentioned in the theft act under section 4(1). Under section 5(1) “property shall be regarded as belonging to anyone having possession or control of it, or having any proprietary right or interest” therefore since Raheen was in possession and the owner of the bag, he was the victim as the bag is personal property belonging to Raheen under the theft act 1968.
It has been proven that Sean and James had the actus Reus of theft, I will now move on to proving they have the additional requirements for the actus Reus of robbery. For robbery any use of force or threat of force against the defendant is enough, but only the jury can decided whether force has been used or not. R V Dawson and James shows that “force is an ordinary word to be determined by the jury”. In R V Clouden, Clouden wrenched the basket from the victim and ran off, but claimed, no threat of force was used against the woman, but the court of appeal stated ‘the question of whether force has been used ‘on any person’ should be left to the jury.’ James had made a grab for the bag, causing Raheen to be startled and drop the bag, which means that James had actually used force as he ‘grabbed’ the bag.
The next thing factor that needs to be determined is whether force or the threat of force was used immediately before or at the time of stealing and since force must be used in order to steal, it would not be a robbery if force was used to escape, rather than during the theft. In R V Hale a case in which the defendants claimed force was not used to stela, as it had already been taken, the court of appeal stated as there was a continuing act as in Fagan V MPC, it was established that the defendants did use force at the time of the theft. In Raheen’s situation, force was used immediately to steal the bag, by James.
The mens rea of robbery is the mens rea of theft. There must be dishonesty and the intention to permanently deprive as discussed earlier. In Robinson, the defendant was not dishonest as he honestly believed he had a legal right to the money and therefore the convictions were quashed, and he was not guilty of robbery even though he had used force to appropriate the property. Furthermore, there must also be the intention to use force to place fear into the victim in order to steal. It doesn’t matter whether the defendant actually is afraid or not as in B V R.


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