Factors to be proven in order to establish Robbery

Section 8 Theft Act 1968

The criminal offence of robbery is contained within Section 8 of the Theft Act 1968. The criminal offence of robbery is a type of aggravated theft in which the offence of theft will be established plus there will be some force or threat of force on another person.

When will the criminal offence of robbery occur?

Under Section 8 of the Theft Act 1968 a person will be guilty of the criminal offence of robbery if they steal, and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses forces on any person or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subjected to force.

What elements need to be established in order to find the criminal offence of robbery?

The following elements need to be established in order to find the criminal offence of robbery:

  • That an individual steals
  • Immediately before or at the time of stealing
  • Use of force or threat of force
  • On any person
  • Use / threat of force in order to steal

That an individual steals

In order to prove that an individual has stolen something it is necessary that all of the elements of the criminal offence of theft have to be established.

Accordingly as robbery is a type of aggravated theft it is therefore necessary to first establish that there has been a theft.

Immediately before or at the time of stealing

In order for the offence of robbery to be proven the force that the individual uses in order to steal the property is required to happen immediately before or at the time of stealing.

What happens if an individual has stolen something and has it in their possession but uses force to escape?

The offence of theft will be complete as soon as the appropriation has taken place. This means that once an individual has the article in their possession the offence will have occurred. This therefore means that if a strict interpretation of the offence is taken use of force to escape with stolen property would fall outside the scope of the offence.

In this situation, however, the courts have taken a pragmatic and purposeful approach treating the appropriation as a continuing act.

Unlock this article now!

 

For more information on:

  • Use of force or threat of force
  • Is there a specific required level of force?
  • Is there any guidance given by the Theft Act as to what is meant by force in order to prove a robbery?
  • If the jury finds that use of force is minimal is this likely to be upheld on appeal?
  • Does the force have to be applied directly to a person?
  • In order to steal
  • What does this mean?
  • Is there a requirement on the defendant to have some form of intention to commit robbery?
  • What is the maximum prison sentence for robbery?