Theft Act Offences - Theft, Handling, Receiving, Robbery and Burglary


Theft is the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive. There are a number of different circumstances in how theft can be committed. For example, theft from a shop, theft from a person (pickpocketing) or theft in breach of trust (e.g. from an employer).

  • Dishonest - whether the defendant was dishonest should be considered by the standards of a reasonable and honest person 
  • Appropriation - this means any assumption by a person of the rights of the lawful owner. This includes circumstances where someone has come across the property without stealing it but later keeps it, assuming a right to the property
  • Property - includes all property, including those that are tangible and intangible.
  • Belonging to another - property is seen to belong to any person who had possession or control of it. 
  • Intention to permanently deprive - the person must intend not to return the property. However, this will also include circumstances where the property is returned but can no longer be used, for example a train season ticket, which has expired.


This offence is committed where a person enters a building, or part of a building as a trespasser and intends to steal, inflict GBH on anyone inside, or to do unlawful damage to the building or anything in it, or having entered a building as a trespasser a person steals/attempts to steal anything in it or inflicts/attempts to inflict GBH on anyone inside.

  • Enters - it is not necessary for the whole body to enter the building, however the defendant must have intended to make entry as a trespasser. 
  • Trespasses - is to mean entering without consent from the owner. This includes circumstances where someone is given permission to enter a certain part of a building but are not allowed to enter certain parts of it, for example in a shop you may have permission to be in the shop however you are unlikely to have permission to go into the staff room or behind a till area.


This is committed where a defendant commits theft and either immediately before or at the time of doing so, used force or a threat of force in order to steal.

There are also a number of other offences such as Taking a Vehicle Without Consent and Handling or Receiving Stolen Goods which we are able to assist you with.



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