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7.5.12 - Obtaining Property By Deception

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Overview

  1. It is an offence to obtain property by deception (Crimes Act 1958 s81).
  2. The offence has the following four elements:
    1. The accused obtained property belonging to another;
    2. The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property;
    3. The accused used deceit to obtain the property; and
    4. The accused obtained the property dishonestly (Crimes Act 1958 s81. See, e.g., R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Jost (2002) 135 A Crim R 202).
  3. The law in this area draws heavily upon the civil law of property. This commentary does not attempt to offer a detailed discussion of that law.

    Relationship With Other Property Offences

  4. The offences in ss74, 75, 75A, 76, 77 and 81 of the Crimes Act 1958 must all be committed:
  5. The distinguishing features of s81 are that the accused must have:

    Obtaining Property Belonging to Another

  6. For the first element to be met, the jury must be satisfied that:

    Obtaining

  7. The accused "obtains" property by deception if s/he obtains ownership, possession or control of it (Crimes Act 1958 s81(2)).
  8. This differs from theft, where the accused must have "appropriated" the property by adversely assuming any of the owner’s rights (see Theft).
  9. The accused does not need to have obtained the property for him or herself. This element will be satisfied if s/he obtained the property for another person, or enabled another person to obtain or retain the property (Crimes Act 1958 s81(2)).
  10. Where the accused deceives someone with the intention of obtaining property, but fails to obtain the property, s/he may be guilty of attempting to obtain property by deception (R v Kalajdic [2005] VSCA 160; R v King [1987] QB 547).

    Property

  11. The thing that the accused obtained must have been "property" (Crimes Act 1958 s81(1)).
  12. "Property" is defined to include "money and all other property real or personal including things in action and other intangible property" (Crimes Act 1958 s71(1)).
  13. This definition includes some things with no physical existence, such as debts (R v Baruday [1984] VR 685; R v Holt (1983) 12 A Crim R 1, 16-17).
  14. However, other intangible items may not be classified as property. For example, in England it has been held that confidential information is not property (Oxford v Moss (1978) 68 Cr App R 183), and copyright may not be (R v Lloyd [1985] 1 QB 829).
  15. Whether the thing obtained by the accused was "property" can involve questions of both law and fact. It is for the judge to determine as a question of law whether a particular circumstance creates a property right. It is for the jury to determine whether that circumstance existed as a question of fact (See R v Hall [1973] QB 126; see also R v Baruday [1984] VR 685, Parsons v the Queen (1999) 195 CLR 619 and cf R v Preddy [1996] AC 815).
  16. Sections 73(6) and 7 of the Crimes Act 1958 (concerning when land and wild animals are considered to be "property") do not apply to the offence of obtaining property by deception (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).

    Belonging to Another

  17. The accused must have obtained property "belonging to another" (Crimes Act 1958 s81(1)).
  18. Property "belongs" to anyone who has possession or control of it, or who has any other proprietary right or interest in it (Crimes Act 1958 s71(2); R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  19. These interests include legal and equitable proprietary interests (R v Clowes (No 2) [1994] 2 All ER 316).
  20. However, property does not "belong" to a person who only has an equitable interest in that property, if that equitable interest arose from an agreement to transfer the property or grant an interest in it (Crimes Act 1958 s71(2)).
  21. Whether a person has a proprietary right or interest is a question of civil property law (R v Walker [1984] Crim LR 112).
  22. Sections 73(8)-(11) of the Crimes Act 1958 ss73(8)-(11) (which deem certain property to "belong to" people who might not otherwise be regarded as property owners) do not apply to the offence of obtaining property by deception (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  23. The prosecution needs only to establish that someone other than the accused had the relevant property rights. There is no requirement that the prosecution prove who actually held those rights (Lodge v Lawton [1978] VR 112).

    Abandoned Property

  24. Property no longer "belongs" to a person who has intentionally relinquished all ownership rights (abandoned the property) (R v Small [1987] Crim LR 777).
  25. However, there is a distinction between "losing" and "abandoning" property. Property which is merely lost still "belongs" to the owner and can be obtained by deception(R v Small [1987] Crim LR 777).

    Intention to Permanently Deprive

  26. The second element requires the accused to have intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property when s/he obtained it (Crimes Act 1958 s81(1); R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  27. The jury must consider the accused’s state of mind at the time s/he obtained the property. If the accused had an intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property at that time then this element will be satisfied – even if the accused later decided to return the property (see, e.g., R v Jost (2002) 135 A Crim R 202).
  28. If the accused only had an intention to temporarily deprive the owner of his or her property, this element will not be met (subject to the exceptions specified in ss73(12) and (13)) (R v Lloyd [1985] 1 QB 829).
  29. Similarly, this element will not be met if the accused had not decided how s/he was going to dispose of the property when s/he obtained it (subject to the exceptions specified in ss73(12) and (13)). S/he must have already formed the intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property at the time s/he obtained it (R v Easom [1971] 2 QB 315; Sharp v McCormick [1986] VR 869).
  30. A person who takes property (e.g., goods or cash), intending to return equivalent (but not identical) property, will have an intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property (because s/he does not intend to return the exact same coins, notes or goods that s/he took) (R v Williams [1953] 1 QB 660; R v Cockburn [1968] 1 All ER 466; R v Pace [1965] 3 Can CC 55 (NSSC)).

    Acting Regardless of the Owner’s Rights: ss73(12)-(13)

  31. Sections 73(12) and (13) of the Crimes Act 1958 apply (with necessary adaptations) to the offence of obtaining property by deception (Crimes Act 1958 s81(3); R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  32. The accused is deemed to have an intention to permanently deprive a person of property, despite the fact that s/he did not actually have that intention when s/he obtained the property, if s/he intends to treat the property as his or her own to dispose of regardless of the owner’s rights (Crimes Act 1958 s73(12)).
  33. Section 73(12) will only be relevant in exceptional cases. It is apt to confuse and should only rarely be introduced into a charge (R v Dardovska (2003) 6 VR 628).
  34. Circumstances in which s73(12) has been held to be relevant include:
  35. Two other circumstances in which s73(12) may be relevant are:
  36. In such cases, the accused will only be deemed to have an intention to permanently deprive the owner of the property if the borrowing or lending was for a period, or in circumstances, which made it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal (Crimes Act 1958 s73(12)).
  37. Section 73(12) may also be relevant where the accused parts with property belonging to another, under a condition as to its return which s/he may not be able to perform (e.g., pawning it). If this was done for the accused’s own purposes, and without the consent of the owner, the accused will be deemed to have treated the property as his or her own to dispose of regardless of the owner’s rights (Crimes Act 1958 s73(13)). By virtue of s73(12), s/he will be regarded as having had an intention to permanently deprive the owner of that property.

    Deception

  38. The third element requires the accused to have obtained the property by deception (Crimes Act 1958 s81(1); R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  39. For this element to be met, the prosecution must prove that:
  40. The jury must be unanimous about the particular representation which the accused made (Magnus v R (2013) 41 VR 612; R v Brown (1984) 79 Cr App R 115; R v Holmes [2006] VSCA 73).
  41. As "deception" has the same meaning in relation to the offence of obtaining a financial advantage by deception as it does for the offence of obtaining property by deception (Crimes Act 1958 s82(2)), cases decided in relation to that offence will be applicable to s81.

    Representation by Words or Conduct

  42. The accused must have made a representation in words (spoken or written) or by conduct (Crimes Act 1958 s81(4)(a); R v Benli [1998] 2 VR 157).
  43. The representation may be constituted by a number of statements or a course of conduct (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  44. The representation does not need to be explicit. It can be implied from the accused’s words or conduct (DPP v Ray [1974] AC 370; Smith v R (1982) 7 A Crim R 437 (Vic CCA); R v Vasic (2005) 11 VR 380).
  45. There will often be implicit representations in ordinary transactions. For example:

    Representation About Existing or Past Facts or Law

  46. The representation must have been about existing or past facts or law. This is defined to include representations about a person’s present intentions (Crimes Act 1958 s81(4)(a); R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  47. This element will not have been met if the representation was about something that was going to happen in the future (e.g., a promise). Representations about what will occur in the future cannot amount to a "fact" (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  48. However, most promises implicitly carry with them a representation that it is the person’s present intention to bring about the predicted event. This aspect of the third element will be satisfied if it can be shown that the accused made such a representation when s/he made the promise (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54; R v Dent [1955] 2 QB 590; R v Gilmartin [1983] QB 953).[2]
  49. As it is unlikely that the accused will have explicitly stated that s/he had an "intention" to do anything, it will usually be left to the jury to infer that the promise implied that the accused intended to do what was promised (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  50. The jury must be able to infer, beyond reasonable doubt, that when the accused made the promise, s/he was stating his or her current intention to carry out the promise (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  51. Service of an unverified statement of claim is not to be treated as a positive representation regarding the truth of the facts contained in the statement (Jamieson v the Queen (1993) 177 CLR 574).

    Falsity of the Representation

  52. A person only deceives someone if s/he induces them to believe that something which is actually false is true (DPP v Ray [1974] AC 370; In re London and Globe Financing Corporation Ltd [1903] 1 Ch 728).
  53. The prosecution must therefore demonstrate that the alleged representation was false at the time it was made (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).

    Deception by Silence about Changed Circumstances

  54. Difficulties can arise where:
  55. In such circumstances, it may appear that the accused has not made a false representation. However, it has been held that the accused’s silence in such circumstances can be considered to be an implicit (false) representation that the situation remains the same as initially represented (DPP v Ray [1974] AC 370; R v Firth (1989) 91 Cr App R 217).[3]

    Broken Promises

  56. Where a case is based on a promise made by the accused (see "Representation About Existing or Past Facts or Law" above), it is not sufficient for the prosecution to prove that the promise was not fulfilled. The prosecution must prove that, at the time the representation was made and acted upon, the accused had no intention to carry out the promise (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  57. The non-fulfilment of the promise may be used as evidence that, when s/he made the promise, the accused had no intention to carry it out (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  58. It is important to instruct the jury clearly about this issue, as without such instruction the jury may wrongly think that a bare broken promise, without more, is sufficient (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).

    Knowledge or Recklessness as to Falsity

  59. The deception must have been deliberate or reckless (Crimes Act 1958 s81(4)(a)).
  60. This requires the false representation to have been made:
  61. This element will not be satisfied if the accused made an innocent misrepresentation which misled the victim (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; Mattingley v Tuckwood (1989) 43 A Crim R 11 (ACT SC)).

    Reckless Deception

  62. In this context, "recklessness" is a subjective concept. It focuses on the accused’s state of mind at the relevant time (R v Smith (1982) 7 A Crim R 437; Pollard v Cth DPP (1992) 28 NSWLR 659).
  63. For the deception to have been reckless, the accused must have known that the representation was probably untrue (R v Kalajdic [2005] VSCA 160; R v Campbell [1997] 2 VR 585; R v Nuri [1990] VR 641).
  64. Some authorities have applied a weaker "substantial risk" test. Under this test, an accused makes a false representation recklessly if he or she makes a representation knowing that there is a substantial risk that the representation is untrue (R v Kalajdic [2005] VSCA 160; Mattingley v Tuckwood (1989) 43 A Crim R 11 (ACT SC); Smith v R (1982) 7 A Crim R 437 (Vic CCA)).
  65. It is likely that the "substantial risk" test understates the mens rea requirement for this element. It is also inconsistent with the recklessness test that is now required in more settled areas of the law – see Recklessness. As a result the Charge Book Deception charges adopt only the "probably untrue" test.
  66. It is not sufficient that the accused knew that the representation was possibly untrue (R v Kalajdic [2005] VSCA 160; R v Campbell [1997] 2 VR 585; R v Nuri [1990] VR 641).
  67. Mere carelessness or negligence is not sufficient. The accused must have known that the representation was probably false but been indifferent as to whether the representation was true or false (Smith v R (1982) 7 A Crim R 437 (Vic CCA); Mattingley v Tuckwood (1989) 43 A Crim R 11 (ACT SC); Pollard v Cth DPP (1992) 28 NSWLR 659).

    Accused’s Intention

  68. At the time s/he made the representation, the accused must have intended to obtain the property by his or her words or conduct (DPP v Stonehouse [1978] AC 55; Mattingley v Tuckwood (1989) 43 A Crim R 11 (ACT SC); R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).
  69. In most cases[4] this requires the accused, at the time s/he made the representation, to have intended that:

    The False Representation was Believed

  70. In most cases[5] a person or persons must have believed the false representation, and thus been deceived (DPP v Ray [1974] AC 370; R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  71. Even where the victim is a company, the prosecution must prove that a natural person was deceived (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81.
  72. The person deceived does not need to be the same as the person from whom the property is ultimately obtained. This element will be satisfied as long as the accused deceives someone, and that deception causes the accused to obtain the property (see "The Property was Obtained as a Result of the Deception" below) (R v Benli [1998] 2 VR 157; R v Clarkson [1987] VR 962).

    Deception of Computers and Machines

  73. "Deception" is defined to include acts or omissions done with the intention of causing a computer system, or a machine that is designed to operate by means of payment or identification, to make a response which the accused is not authorised to cause the computer or machine to make (Crimes Act 1958 s81(4)(b)).
  74. This provision allows this element to be met even if the accused has not made a false representation to a person, and no person has been deceived. As long as the accused intended to cause the computer or machine to respond in an unauthorised matter s/he will have engaged in "deception".
  75. Accordingly, the element of deception will be satisfied where a person:
  76. The fact that an ATM is programmed to give out money if a card is inserted and the correct password used does not mean that the bank consents to the withdrawal of money in that way by a person who does not have an account with the bank. The bank only consents to the withdrawal of money by people with current accounts (Kennison v Daire (1986) 160 CLR 129).

    The Property was Obtained as a Result of the Deception

  77. The property must have been obtained as a result of the deception. That is, there must have been a causal connection between the deception used and the obtaining of the property (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81; R v Clarkson [1987] VR 962; R v King [1987] QB 547).
  78. For this requirement to be met, the prosecution must prove that the deception operated on the mind of the person deceived (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81).
  79. It is a question of fact for the jury to decide whether the deception was an "operative cause" of the obtaining (R v King [1987] QB 547).
  80. As long as this causal connection is proved, the property does not need to have been obtained from the same person who was deceived (R v Benli [1998] 2 VR 157; R v Clarkson [1987] VR 962; R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81).
  81. It is not necessary to prove that the person deceived suffered a loss (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81; R v Kovacs [1974] AC 370).

    Proving Causation

  82. Direct evidence should ordinarily be used to prove that the deception operated on the mind of the person deceived (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81; R v Laverty (1970) 54 Cr App R 495).[6]
  83. However, direct evidence need not be given if the facts are such that the alleged false representation is the only reason which could be suggested as having been the operative inducement (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81; R v Sullivan (1945) 30 Cr App R 132).
  84. In such circumstances, it is for the jury to determine whether the only inference which could be reasonably drawn is that the relevant party would not have parted with the property had the true position been known, and thus the deception was the cause of the obtaining (R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81; R v Lambie [1982] AC 449).

    Dishonesty

  85. The fourth element requires the property to have been obtained "dishonestly" (Crimes Act 1958 s81(1); R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  86. This requirement is additional to the requirement that the property be obtained "by deception". The prosecution must prove that when the accused, by deception, obtained the property, s/he was acting dishonestly (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; Pollard v Cth DPP (1992) 28 NSWLR 659).
  87. Whilst in a loose sense any form of deception might be characterised as "dishonest", that is not the meaning which "dishonestly" bears in s81 (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; Pollard v Cth DPP (1992) 28 NSWLR 659).
  88. Dishonesty has a special meaning in s81. It means that the accused acted without a belief in a legal right to obtain the property (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bonollo [1981] VR 633; R v Brow [1981] VR 783; R v Todo (2004) 10 VR 244).
  89. This interpretation of "dishonesty" differs from the interpretation of "dishonesty" in the equivalent provision of the English Theft Act and the interpretation of "dishonesty" in s86 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914. In those jurisdictions, "dishonesty" has its ordinary meaning, and is assessed according to the standards of the ordinary person (Peters v the Queen (1998) 192 CLR 493; Macleod v R (2003) 214 CLR 230; R v Ghosh [1982] QB 1053).[7]
  90. The claim of legal right must extend to all of the property taken, not just to part of it (R v Bedford (2007) 98 SASR 514).
  91. A moral belief in the right to obtain the property is not sufficient (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bonollo [1981] VR 633).
  92. The relevant belief is not a belief in ownership or in a right to possession or control. The accused must have believed that s/he had a legal right to obtain possession of the property. That is, s/he must have believed that s/he had legal right to take the property and deprive the other person of possession (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  93. If the accused did not believe that s/he had a legal right to obtain the property, then s/he will have acted dishonestly, even if s/he intended to prevent the true owner from suffering any loss (R v Brow [1981] VR 783).

    Subjective Concept

  94. Dishonesty is a subjective concept. It relates to the accused’s mental state (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bonollo [1981] VR 633; R v Brow [1981] VR 783).
  95. The prosecution must prove that the accused himself or herself did not believe that s/he had, in all the circumstances, a legal right to obtain the property (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bonollo [1981] VR 633; R v Brow [1981] VR 783).
  96. It does not matter if the accused’s belief was based on a mistake of fact[8] or a mistake of law.[9] If the accused genuinely believed s/he had a legal claim of right, s/he will not have acted dishonestly (R v Langham (1984) 36 SASR 48; R v Lopatta (1983) 35 SASR 101).
  97. The accused’s belief does not need to have been reasonable (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Dardovska (2003) 6 VR 628).
  98. If the jury is left in doubt whether the accused in fact believed that s/he had a legal right in the circumstances to obtain the property, the element will not be established (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).

    Exhaustive Definition

  99. The word "dishonestly" in s81 is to be defined exclusively as meaning without belief by the accused that s/he had a legal right to obtain the property (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bonollo [1981] VR 633; R v Brow [1981] VR 783).
  100. As this definition of "dishonestly" is exhaustive, if the accused did not believe s/he had a legal right to the property, then s/he will have acted "dishonestly" (R v Brow [1981] VR 783).
  101. The provisions of ss73(2) and (3), which state that in certain circumstances an accused person’s appropriation of property is not to be regarded as dishonest, do not apply to s81 (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).

    No Need to Believe in Right to Deceive

  102. The accused does not need to have believed that s/he had a legal right to obtain the property by deception, or by the particular means employed. S/he merely needs to have believed that s/he had a legal right to obtain the property. The deception was simply his or her means of achieving that goal (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bedford (2007) 98 SASR 514).
  103. So even if the accused used violent measures to take the property, s/he should not be convicted of obtaining property by deception if s/he genuinely believed s/he had a legal right to the property. However, s/he may be convicted of an offence relating to the violence used (R v Bedford (2007) 98 SASR 514; R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  104. It will therefore be a misdirection to tell the jury that the prosecution must prove that the accused believed s/he had a right to take the property by the deception actually employed. The jury should instead be directed that the prosecution must prove that the accused did not believe s/he had a legal right to obtain the property (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).

    Relationship Between "Dishonesty" and "Deception"

  105. There may be cases where property belonging to another has been obtained by deception, with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it, but which has not been done dishonestly (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; Pollard v Cth DPP (1992) 28 NSWLR 659).[10]
  106. Thus, the mere fact that the accused obtained the property by deception is not enough to prove that s/he acted dishonestly. The prosecution must prove that the accused acted without a claim of legal right (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).
  107. However, in many cases the practising of a deception will be strongly evidentiary of whether the acts charged were done dishonestly. The jury may be able to infer from the fact that the accused acted deceitfully that s/he was not making a claim of right (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; Pollard v Cth DPP (1992) 28 NSWLR 659).
  108. While in many cases the deception practised will be highly relevant to the element of dishonesty, this will not always be the case. For example, where the accused admits engaging in deception, but advances an explanation for why s/he did so, the jury may not be able to infer anything about the accused’s dishonesty from the fact that s/he was deceitful (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).

    Need for Jury Directions

  109. Due to the difficulty in understanding the relationship between deception and dishonesty, and the special sense in which "dishonestly" is used in this context, the judge must explain the concept of "dishonestly" to the jury (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401; R v Bonollo [1981] VR 633; R v Todo (2004) 10 VR 244).
  110. In such cases, the judge must:
  111. In some cases it may be desirable to point out that the question as to what constitutes "dishonestly" is not to be answered by considering the morality of the accused’s actions, but by considering whether the accused believed that s/he had a legal right to obtain the relevant property (R v Salvo [1980] VR 401).

    Offences Committed by Bodies Corporate

  112. The offence of obtaining property by deception may be committed by a body corporate (Crimes Act 1958 s84).
  113. Where an offence committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, that person will also be guilty of the offence (Crimes Act 1958 s84(1)).
  114. Where the affairs of the body corporate are managed by its members, the members may also be found guilty of the offence (if they acted in connection with their management function) (Crimes Act 1958 s84(2)).

    Extraterritorial Offences

  115. It is not necessary that the property was obtained in Victoria. Section 81 applies where there is a "real and substantial link" between the relevant act and Victoria (Crimes Act 1958 s80A).
  116. The concept of a "real and substantial link" is defined in s80A(2). It includes cases where:
  117. The words in s80A should be given their natural meaning (R v Keech (2002) 5 VR 312).
  118. An act which forms an essential link in the chain of deception (rather than merely being part of the surrounding circumstances) is a "significant part" of the relevant conduct (R v Keech (2002) 5 VR 312).

    Notes

[1] In relation to ss76 and 77, these requirements only apply when it is alleged that the accused intended to steal something.

[2] In such cases, the count and the particulars should refer to the accused’s (implicit) representation about his or her intentions when s/he made the promise, rather than the promise itself (R v Lo Presti (2005) 158 A Crim R 54).

[3] In R v Vasic (2005) 11 VR 380 the court held that it was Parliament’s intention that the English cases in this area, including DPP v Ray, would be followed in Victoria.

[4] An exception occurs where it is a computer or a machine that is deceived: see "Deception of Computers and Machines" below.

[5] It is also possible for a computer or a machine to have been deceived: see "Deception of Computers and Machines" below.

[6] In most cases the person deceived will give evidence that s/he believed the representation, and that is why s/he parted with the property (R v Sullivan (1945) 30 Cr App R 132; R v Jenkins (2002) 6 VR 81).

[7] Other Australian jurisdictions adopt different approaches to dishonesty, and their authorities should be approached with caution.

[8] A mistaken belief that certain facts existed, which would have created a legal claim if true.

[9] A mistaken belief that certain interests create legal rights.

[10] In R v Salvo [1980] VR 401 the court gives the example of a robber who forcibly detains goods from the true owner. Because the robber has possession or control of the goods, they are deemed to belong to him by virtue of s71(2). If the true owner, by a stratagem of deception, obtains the goods from the robber, he will not have acted dishonestly – as he believes he has a legal claim to the goods (and in fact does have a legal right to regain the goods by seizure).

Last updated: 11 September 2020

In This Section

7.5.12.1 - Charge: Obtaining Property by Deception

7.5.12.2 - Checklist: Obtaining Property by Deception

See Also

7.5 - Dishonesty and Property Offences

7.5.1 - Theft

7.5.2 - Robbery

7.5.3 - Armed Robbery

7.5.4 - Burglary

7.5.5 - Aggravated Burglary

7.5.6 – Home Invasion

7.5.7 – Aggravated Home Invasion

7.5.8 – Carjacking

7.5.9 – Aggravated Carjacking

7.5.10 - Handling Stolen Goods

7.5.11 - Recent Possession

7.5.13 - Obtaining a Financial Advantage By Deception

7.5.14 - Making or Using a False Document

7.5.15 - Blackmail

7.5.16 - Criminal Damage

7.5.17 - Criminal Damage Intending to Endanger Life

7.5.18 - Criminal Damage With a View to Gain

7.5.19 - Arson

7.5.20 - Arson Causing Death

7.5.21 - Intentionally or Recklessly Causing a Bushfire