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Book Index - Checklist: Theft

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Three elements the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused appropriated property belonging to another; and
  2. The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of that property; and
  3. The accused appropriated the property dishonestly.


Appropriation of Property Belonging to Another

1. Did the accused appropriate property that belonged to another person?

Consider - Did the accused [take the property / assume the rights of an owner / interfere with the rights of the owner] in the way alleged by the prosecution?

Consider - Did the accused do this without consent?

If Yes, then go to 2

If No, then the accused is not guilty of Theft

Intention to Permanently Deprive

2. Did the accused intend to permanently deprive another person of that property?

Consider - Did the accused intend that the owner would never get the property back?

If Yes, then go to 3

If No, then the accused is not guilty of Theft


3. Did the accused appropriate the property dishonestly?

Consider – Has the prosecution proved that the accused did not believe that he/she had a legal right to obtain the property?

If Yes, then the accused is guilty of Theft
(as long as you also answered Yes to Questions 1 and 2)

If No, then the accused is not guilty of Theft


Last updated: 5 June 2009

See Also

7.5.1 - Theft - Charge: Theft (Short) - Charge: Theft (Extended)