Asif is liable for theft. This can be seen in the Theft Act 1968 amended by Theft Act 1978. Under s.1 (1) 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.’ However the Actus reus and the Mens rea have to be taken into account when dealing with Theft. The Actus reus is appropriating property belonging to another. The Mens rea is dishonesty and intention to permanently deprive. In this case Asif commits the actus reus by appropriating the property but does not have the mens rea, as he is confident that he will be able to replace it without his colleague noticing. In s.3 Theft Act 1968, it states, ‘any assumption of the rights of the owner amounts to an appropriation.’ To show there has been appropriation something must be taken, destroyed, used in an unauthorised way, offered for sale, sold, refused to be returned. Assuming any one of these rights is enough for appropriation, we can see this in case examples. R v Morris (1984) the defendant had taken some goods from a supermarket shelf and substituted lower price labels. He then went to the checkout desk, paid the lower price and was arrested. The House of Lords decided that they had assumed at least one of the rights of the real owners of the store by switching the labels on the goods and this action was sufficient to amount to an appropriation. The rule therefore is ‘assuming any one of the owners’ rights is sufficient to amount to appropriation’. This will include damaging, selling, keeping or destroying the property. In the case Gomez (1993) we can see at what point appropriation takes place. Gomez worked at an electrical goods shop. His friend asked him to supply goods for stolen cheques. The Manager asked Gomez to confirm with the bank that the cheque was acceptable. He told the Manager that he did it but he didn’t. The fact that the owner consented to the handling of the property was irrelevant. HL held appropriation and this takes place the moment the offender assumes any of the rights. This case implies that there does not need to be a taking for an appropriation. Even if the owner consents there can still be an appropriation, this can be seen in the case Lawrence (1972). An Italian student (Lawrence) spoke very little English; he gave a taxi driver piece of paper with an address. The driver claimed it was a longer journey than it actually was. The fare was £1, the student opened his wallet and the driver took £6. There can still be an appropriation even though the owner has consented to the property being taken. Under s.4 Theft Act 1968, ‘Property’ includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property. In the case Oxford v Moss (1978), he was charged with stealing confidential information. A student obtained a copy of an exam paper he was due to sit; he copied it and returned it. D was acquitted as there was no proof that he intended to permanently deprive the University of it. S.4 (3) ‘A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose.’ Under s.5 Theft Act 1968, ‘Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest’. It can belong to more than one person at a time and people can steal their own property, as seen in the case R v Turner (1971). S.5 (3) states, ‘Where a person receives property from another and is under obligation to retain or deal with that property or its proceeds in a particular way, the property is still regarded as belonging to another, e.g. holding money for a particular purpose. In Davidge v Bennet (1984) the defendant was given money by flatmates to...
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