Published: Wed, 07 Mar 2018
R v Hale  68 Cr App R 415
Robbery under Section 8(1) Theft Act 1968, actus reus, immediately before or at the time of stealing using force on any person.
Two defendants entered the victim’s house and stole her jewellery box from her bedroom. After having taken the box they tied her up. They were convicted of robbery and appealed against their convictions on the basis that the offence of theft was complete when they took possession of the jewellery box and they, therefore, did not use force immediately before or at the time of stealing.
A defendant commits the offence of robbery contrary to section 8(1) Theft Act 1968 if he commits a theft, and immediately before or at the time of the theft, uses force on any person. The submission that the theft was complete when the jewellery box was appropriated and that force was, therefore, not used upon the victim until after the theft had taken place was rejected as being contrary to common sense. The act of appropriation does not come to an end abruptly but is a continuing act which comes to an end when the jury decides it has come to an end, having considered the whole course of conduct of the defendants.
The defendants’ convictions for robbery were upheld. The whole course of conduct is considered as stealing, and appropriation does not immediately finish when the defendant’s conduct meets the minimum essential requirements for appropriation. The theft should be viewed in its entirety which comes to an end when the jury decides it does.
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