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7.5.2.2 - Charge: Robbery (Extended)

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[This charge can be used where one or more elements of the offence are in issue. If the only issue relied upon by the accused, or raised by the evidence, is that the accused was not the offender, see Charge: Robbery (Short).]

 

The Elements

I must now direct you about the crime of robbery. To prove this crime, the prosecution must prove the following 3 elements beyond reasonable doubt:

One - the accused committed theft.

Two - immediately before or at the time of the theft, the accused either:

Three - the accused acted in that way in order to commit the theft.

I will now explain each of these elements in more detail. [1]

Theft

The first element that the prosecution must prove is that the accused committed theft. In order to do this, the prosecution must prove three things. [2]

First, they must prove that the accused appropriated property that belonged to another person. Although the word "appropriation" has a technical legal meaning, and includes many different types of acts, here it simply means to take something without the owner’s consent.

In this case, the prosecution alleged that NOA took [identify property] that belonged to [identify owner]. [Summarise prosecution evidence and/or arguments]. The defence denied this, arguing [insert defence evidence and/or arguments].

Secondly, the prosecution must prove that, when the accused appropriated the [describe property], s/he intended to permanently deprive the owner of it. That is, s/he intended that the owner would never get it back.

It does not matter whether the accused intended to keep, sell, give away, destroy or hide the appropriated property. If his/her intention was that the owner would not get the property back, then s/he will have had the necessary intention.

In this case, the prosecution alleged that NOA had such an intention. [Identify prosecution evidence and/or arguments.]

Thirdly, the prosecution must prove that, at the time of the appropriation, the accused was acting dishonestly. In this context, "dishonesty" does not have its ordinary meaning. It is given a special legal meaning, which says that the accused will have acted dishonestly if, when s/he took the property, s/he did not believe that s/he had a legal right to take it.

In this case there is no evidence that the accused believed s/he had a legal right to take the [identify property]. So if you are satisfied that NOA took that property, you should have no difficulty finding this requirement proven.

It is for you to determine, based on all the evidence, whether NOA committed theft. This will only be the case if you are satisfied that all three of the requirements I have just outlined have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Force or fear of force

The second element that the prosecution must prove is that, immediately before or at the time of the theft, the accused either:

In this case the prosecution alleged that NOA [identify relevant ground[s] and people involved, eg, "used force against NOC"] when s/he [describe relevant conduct]. The defence denied this, arguing [describe defence evidence and/or arguments].

[If it is alleged that the accused put, or sought to put, a person in fear, add the following shaded section]

You will note that it is not enough for the prosecution to prove that NOA put, or sought to put, NOC in fear that force was going be used on him/her/NO3P [3] at some distant or uncertain time. To prove this element on the basis of the threatened use of force, the prosecution must prove that NOA put, or sought to put, NOC in fear that force was going to be used on him/her/NO3P then and there.

You will also note that, while this element will be met if you are satisfied that NOC was actually fearful that such force was going to be used, this is not necessary. This element will be met if the prosecution can prove that NOA sought to put NOC in fear, even if that attempt was unsuccessful.

 

Conduct was committed "in order" to steal

The third element that the prosecution must prove is that the accused acted in the way s/he did in order to commit the theft. That is, NOA must have [used force on NOC / put NOC in fear of the use of force / sought to put NOC in fear of the use of force] for the purpose of stealing the [identify property], rather than for another reason.

[Insert any relevant evidence and/or arguments.]

Summary

To summarise, before you can find NOA guilty of robbery, the prosecution must prove to you, beyond reasonable doubt:

One - that NOA committed theft, by dishonestly appropriating property that belonged to another person, intending to permanently deprive the owner of that property; and

Two - that immediately before or at the time of the theft, NOA either:

Three – that NOA acted in this way in order to commit the theft.

If you find that any of these elements have not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, then you must find NOA not guilty of robbery.

Theft

I must also direct you about the crime of theft. This is an alternative to the crime of robbery. That means you only need to return a verdict on the crime of theft if you are not satisfied that the prosecution have proved all the elements of robbery beyond reasonable doubt. If you decide that NOA is guilty of robbery, then you do not need to return a verdict on this alternative.

I have already explained the elements of theft to you, when instructing you about the first element of robbery. They are:

One – that the accused appropriated property belonging to another person; and

Two – that the accused intended to permanently deprive the other person of that property; and

Three – that the accused appropriated the property dishonestly, in that s/he did not believe that s/he had a legal right to take it.

For NOA to be guilty of theft, you must be satisfied that the prosecution has proved all of these matters beyond reasonable doubt. If you find that any of these elements have not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, then you must find NOA not guilty of theft.

 

Notes

[1] If an element is not in issue it should not be explained in full. Instead, the element should be explained briefly, and followed by an instruction such as: "It is [admitted / not disputed] that NOA [describe conduct, state of mind or circumstances that meet the element], and you should have no difficulty finding this element proven."

[2] This part of the charge is designed for use in cases where the theft element does not raise any technical issues. If such issues do arise, the charge should be adapted or expanded accordingly. Guidance can be obtained from Charge: Theft (Extended).

[3] Name of third party.

 

Last updated: 27 March 2013

See Also

7.5.2 - Robbery

7.5.2.1 - Charge: Robbery (Short)

7.5.2.3 - Checklist: Robbery