Burglary Theft University
In this essay, I will be discussing Eddie Chancre’s conviction for burglary and theft for confidential information belonging to the university. I am representing the defendant.
Your Lordship would you like to hear the facts of the case.
Eddie Chancre decided to enter the Law School office during the lunch hour, and he took notes of the examination paper, and then put the examination paper back to the cabinet and left before the secretaries returned.
This case demonstrates that the defendant had stolen some intangible property, which is a criminal offence.
Your Lordship Mr Eddie Chamcer is appealing against the decision because the Crown Court trial Judge, Mr Plodder J, had misdirected the jury. The defendant feels that, it is unfair and as a result have taken this matter to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). I, Mr Mathias the defence lawyer and Mr Brown the prosecutor both will discuss this case.
It was an agreed fact that, the examination papers was the property of the university, confidential information is intangible property, which obviously cannot be stolen. There is no evidence to prove that at any time the defendant intended to steal that intangible element.
It can be accepted that the accused was going to put the property back into the cabinet and he did not intend to steal any tangible element belonging to the examination as in Oxford v Moss  Crime LR 119 case.You can get expert help with your essays right now. Find out more...
The allegation was that Mr Chancer permanently intended to deprive the University of Intangible Property, namely law examination questions, which are confidential information according to Section 9 (1) and Section (1) of the Theft Act 1968.
Mr Chencer had not deprived permanently the owner of any intangible property.
Under Section 9(1), a person is guilty of burglary if entering a building, ship, or inhabited vehicle as a trespasser with the intention of committing one of four specified crimes in it, which is burglary with intent or entering it as trespasser only but subsequently commit one of two specified crimes in it, which is burglary without intent.
Someone who has the intention to steal enters a building as a trespasser and inflicts, Grievous, Bodily Harm becomes a trespasser. In addition, he is a trespasser when he knows that he does not have permission to enter the building or area. It is very easy for someone to become a trespasser. If he is working in a building, and goes in another area of the building without permission he becomes a trespasser.
Moreover, when an individual is invited to enter a building, he is not a trespasser but if he and goes to the private room next-door or area he becomes a trespasser, because he has dishonest intention
If you enter in a building with a bomb in your pocket, you instantly become trespasser because you do not have implied invitation.
Mr Chamcer did not steel anything. There is no evidence that he had ulterior intention when he entered in the office. He was not a trespasser because all students were allowed access the office. Therefore, without other elements of burglary there should be no case of steeling, which he could be criminally liable as in R V Jones and Smith  63 Cr App R47. “Any person who enters the building for unlawful purpose will be a trespasser. In that building irrespective of any express or implied permission to entry that has extended to him’’. If the defendant claims that he has the right to be there it will not be easy to show that he was a trespasser.Get help with your essay from our expert essay writers...
Section 15 ( 1 ) of the Theft Act 1968, state that “A person who by any deception dishonestly obtains property belonging to another, with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years’’.
There are situations where thefts attract no liability under Section 1 (1) of the Theft Act 1968. The dishonest person is guilty of theft if he appropriates property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive the other of it. Borrowings satisfy the intention permanently to deprive, but there are situations that involve only a transient interference with another property that can give rise to liability.
For example, if a person picks up goods in a supermarket without stealing them, but later decides to keep the property unlawfully, may be regarded as having appropriated them. This is because the intention permanently to deprive is concerned with the accused’s state of mind, not his action. If the defendant removes the property permanently, his liability is established.
Under Section 6 (1) of the Theft Act 1968, the defendant intends permanently to deprive. This section includes situations where the property has been taken on a temporary basis.You can get expert help with your essays right now. Find out more...
In Lloyd  QB 829, the Court of Appeal decided, “Borrowing would amount to outright taking only where the property was returned in a changed state with all its goodness and virtue gone. The partial diminution of value represented by the copying of the films would not suffice, despite the reduction in revenue caused by the availability of pirate films.’’
Assumption of any one of the rights of the owner amounts to appropriation. The House of Lords addressed this question in Morris, Anderton v Burnside  AC 320. The defendant removed from the supermarket shelf some goods and changed the labels to show lower prices. In Anderton v Burnside  he reached the checkout but was arrested before paying for the goods. Morris  was arrested after paying the lower price.
Both appeals were dismissed because defendants argued that there was not appropriation because the goods had been removed and handled with owner-implied consent.
Appropriation happens if the owner did not consent to that assumption of his right.
In PP v Gomez  1 All ER 1, the defendant argued that he could not be liable because the manager consented to the removal of the property.
The House of Lords held that “the defendants had assumed one of the rights of the real owner, by switching the label on the goods, and this action was sufficient to amount to an appropriation.’’
Only the owner has the right to remove the label from a place or article. No one else has the right to do so.
The House of Lords indicated that taking a property does not amount to appropriation as stated in Gomez  AC 442, because an appropriation happens when the accused assumes some of the rights of the real owner and the defendant goes on to take the property.
Following Lawrence v MPC  AC 626, the House of Lords held that consent is not relevant to the question of appropriation.
The Jury should consider the state of mind of the defendant to determine whether his action was honest or not as seen in R v Landy  1 WLR 355.
In this case, the defendant believes that he is not dishonest. The Jury should not try to use the defendant’s own standard of honesty to judge him, as in R v Greenstein  1 WLR 1353. “Everybody accused of dishonesty, if he was to be tested by his own standard, he would be acquitted automatically.’’
There is no dishonesty under Section 2(1) of the Theft Act 1968. This states that if the defendant appropriates property it will not be regarded as dishonesty, for a third party or himself, if may believe that in law may have the right to deprive the other of it, as in Holden  Crime LR. The defendant has to prove that he has reasonable and genuine belief. However, the Jury is less likely to accept that, he is honest if the belief is unreasonable.
The Theft Act 1968 Section 2 (1) is all subjective tests, which determine that the accused believes irrespective of how others would interpret the situation. If none of these situations apply to this case, the general test of dishonesty established in Ghosh  2 ALLER 689 should be applied.
Ghosh was a surgeon at a hospital, who claimed fees for operations, when in fact the operations had been carried out by another surgeon, and should have attracted no fees, under the provisions of the National Health Service.
The accuser’s defence was that there was no deception. He believed that he was entitled to the fees and, therefore, his behaviour was not dishonest. In addition, the sums paid where for consultation fees, which under the regulations were payable legitimately.You can get expert help with your essays right now. Find out more...
Outside Section 2(1), dishonest could not be assessed on a purely subjective test. There are two defences of dishonesty. Firstly, the defendant can claim that his action was not dishonest according to the ordinary standard of reasonable honest people. His state of mind will be irrelevant if sustained. In addition, the defendant can show that he did not realised that reasonable and honest people regard what he did dishonest. If the answer to either question is yes, the defendant was dishonest. If the answer to both questions is no the defendant is not dishonest. In this case, Mr Chancer believes that he is not dishonest.
If the defendants acted dishonestly the Jury applying, their own standard, for the purpose of Section 1 (1) of the Theft Act 1968, could not assess him completely objectively. Acting dishonestly describes not the defendant’s conduct but a state of mind, which could not be established independent of what the d defendant believes. In most cases, the accused knew that his action would be dishonest as stated in Ghosh .
The question for this Court is whether confidential information can amount to property under 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968. Furthermore, Section 4(1) states “property includes money and all other property, real or personal including things in action and other intangible property’’, as was in Peter Pan Manufacturing Corporation v Corset Silhouette Ltd  1 WLR 96.Get help with your essay from our expert essay writers...
The law of theft is extended to protect intangible property such as copyright debts and shares. For example if the accused steals the appellant’s cheque book and falsifies his signature, it can be accepted that he has appropriated the victim’s property as in R v Kohn  69 Cr App R 395, which was reasoning accepted by the Court of Appeal.
The Human Rights Act 1998 gives effect to the provision of the European Convention of Human Rights 1950. Under Article (8) “everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.’’ The Court has extended the tort of breach of confidence to protect certain aspects of personal privacy’’ as in Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd  UKHL 22, AC 457.
A pre- existing confidential relationship is no longer required. A duty of confidence is imposed whether a person who received information knows that it is fair and reasonable to be regarded as confidential. If he passes that information to someone else to take an unfair advantage of it the Court has to charge him for damages. An injunction is commonly granted to protect commercial information and trade secrets.
It seems to me that this issue is of little assistance in the present situation in which we have to consider whether there is property in the information, which is capable of being the subject of a charge of theft. I believe there is not.
The defendant gained advantages by his unlawful behaviour and have been unfair because another students had not cheat the examination paper .
My Lordship, in Oxford v Moss  68 CR APP R 183, Lord Chief Justice Wien ,J agreed that “ I would support the decision of the stipendiary magistrates on one ground only that it is shown in this case. According to Section 4 (1) of the Theft Act 1968, confidential information held on a piece of paper could not amount to intangible property ’’You can get expert help with your essays right now. Find out more...
In addition, the Lord Chief Justice says that “I agree with both judgements and have nothing to add, save to commend the learned stipendiary magistrate on a very clearly stated case’’ The appeal was dismissed.
I agree with what was stated in the grounds of the appeal. My client is not guilty
In conclusion, intention permanently to deprive is concerned with the defendant’s state of mind, not his action. The defendant did not intend to remove the property permanently. Therefore, his liability cannot be established for what he has done. The university, which is the owner of the examination papers, contributed largely what happened because they did not lock the office and did not put the examination papers in a safe place where no one could reach them easily. The defendant’s is guilt.
- Oxford v Moss  Crim Lr 119
- R v Jones and Smith [ 1976 ] 63 Cr App R47
- Lloyd [ 1985] QB 829
- Morris,Anderton v Burnside  Ac 320
- In PP v Gomez [ 1993] 1 All ER 1
- R v Landy  1 WLR 355
- R v Greenstein  1 WLR 1353
- Holden  Crim LR
- Ghosh 1982] ALLER 689
- Peter Pan Manufacturing Corporation v Corset Silhouettte Ltd  1 WLR 96
- R v Kohn [ 1970] 69 Cr App R 395
- Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd  UKHL 22 AC 457
- Section 9 (1) of the Theft Act 1968
- Section 15 (1) of the Theft Act 1968
- Section 1 ( 1) of the Theft Act 1968
- Section 6 (1) of the Theft Act 1968
- Section 2 (1) of the Theft Act 1968
- Human Right Act 1998
- European Convention on Human Rights 1950
- Section 4 (1) of the Theft Act 1968
Allen, M,J,` Criminal Law,’(9th ed, Oxford University Press, New York, 2007).
Ashworth,A,`Principle of Criminal Law,’(3rd ed, Oxford University Press, New York,1999).
J,P,`Intention Permanently to Deprive: Seizing and later abandoning a motor,’ (2008),172(16),Justice of peace & Local Government Law,242-243.
Hirst,R,Criminal Law,(15th ed, Old Bailey Press,London,2005) 256-288.
Roe,D,`Criminal Law,’(3rd ed,Hodder & Stoughton, London,2005) 141-155.
Smith & Hogan, ` Criminal Law,’ (3rd ed, Oxford University Press, New York,2006).
Alan Reed & Ben Fitzpatrick, ` Criminal Law,’(3rd ed, Sweet& Maxwell,London,2006).
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