janetalison3
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Stuart inserted the correct amount of money into a vending machine for one chocolate bar which by mistake dispensed two. Stuart realised the mistake but started to eat them both.

Is this theft act 1968?
How would I apply this scenario to the law
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RV3112
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(Original post by janetalison3)
Stuart inserted the correct amount of money into a vending machine for one chocolate bar which by mistake dispensed two. Stuart realised the mistake but started to eat them both.

Is this theft act 1968?
How would I apply this scenario to the law
The overall definition of theft is contained in s.1 of the 1968 Act. S.2 to s.6 (which break down the offence and define each part) provide the formula for considering any theft problem question. Apply each of these definitions to your set of facts to determine if all elements necessary for the offence of theft have been satisfied. Any criminal law textbook will provide you with the relevant case law for each element.
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janetalison3
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Issue
Stuart inserted the correct amount of money into a vending machine for one chocolate bar which by mistake dispensed two. Stuart realised the mistake but started to eat them both.
To discuss Stuart’s criminal liability we need to identify Stuarts mens rea which is the guilty mind and actus reus which is the guilty act and if there is no valid defence then he will be criminally liable under the Theft Act 1968.

Rule
The definition of theft is defined in S1 under the Theft Act 1968 and states a person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.
For the actus reus of the Theft Act 1968 three points have to be proved which are appropriation, property and belonging to another. For the mens reas two points must be proved which are dishonesty and intention to permanently deprive.
Appropriation is S3(1) of the Theft Act 1968 states any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a right to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner.
For an appropriation there are no requirement that all the rights of an owner are assumed, one right is sufficient. The meaning of appropriation is very wide which also includes physically taking property but any exercising of the rights of the owner has been held to amount to appropriation. These rights include selling, using, damaging or destroying or changing price labels on goods as seen in Anderton v Burnside[1983] and R v Morris[1983].
A problem has been whether there can be theft when an owner has consented to appropriation. In Lawrence[1971] a conviction for theft was upheld. An appropriation can take place with the consent of the owner. In Gomez[1991]. Goods were paid for using stolen cheques. The shop consented to the goods being taken but this still amounted to appropriation. This case overlaps between the S15 Theft Act 1968 and obtaining property by deception. This case used the word “adverse” in Morris to be wrong. In the case of Hinks[2001] this was then confirmed and there was no fraud in the obtaining of the consent to the transfer of the property.
Property is defined in S4(1) Theft Act 1968 as including money and all other property, real and personal, including things in action and other tangible property. Money is classed as coins and banknotes whereas real property is classed as land. There is some limitations when land can be stolen under S4(2) Theft Act 1968. Land is classed as stolen when a person not in control of the land severs something from the land or where a tenant misappropriated fixtures attached to the land.
Personal property is any physical item like car, boat, jewellery which is not attached to land.
Copyright, patents and credit balances in a bank account all amount to things in action and other intangible property.
There are some things that amount to not being capable of being stolen these are: electricity but S13 Theft Act 1968 is a separate offence of dishonesty abstracting electricity, wild creatures unless they have been tamed or kept in captivity which was seen in Cresswell and Currie v DPP[2006]. Seen in Oxford v Moss[1979] is information or knowledge such as the contents of an examination paper but the piece of paper on which the examination is written can be stolen. A corpse is also held as not being stolen but body parts can be. A corpse that have been preserved for scientific analysis as in Kelly and Lindsay[1998] can be classed as stolen.
S5(1) Theft Act 1968 belonging to another is property shall be regarded as belonging to another person having possession or control of it, or having any proprietary right. This means that property can be stolen from other people than the owner this also means a person can steal their own property back as in Turner (No 2)[1971]. S5(2) Theft Act 1968 deals with property is subject to trust, the person whom it belongs and include any person having a right to enforce the trust. A charge of theft can then be brought against a trustee who dishonestly appropriates trust property of which they are in possession and control. In Davidge v Bennett[1984] the defendant was found guilty when she spent the money her flat mates had given her to pay the gas bill. In A-G’s Reference(no 1 of 1983)[1985] the person will only be guilty of theft if they are aware of the mistake, are being dishonest and intend to permanently deprive the other of it.
Analysis
In the case of Stuart he inserted the right amount of money for one bar but the machine dispensed two. At this point no criminal liability had occurred. Stuart then realised the mistake and started to eat them both. The act we look at is Theft Act 1968. Has Stuart committed the actus reus of the act. He assumes appropriation when he starts to eat the bars which shows he acts as the owner. S3(1) Theft Act 1968 covers this even though he acquires the bar innocently and by mistake. The second bar actually belongs to the vending machine which is covered in S4(1) Theft Act 1968 which is the property. Under S5(1) Theft Act belonging to another which we have established the bar belongs to the vending machine and no attempt has been made to recover the owner.
(Mens reus - Dishonest and permanently deprive)
(Apply to case)
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username3689312
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Just a little tip which you may do anyway.

Apply as your are going along, then you dont miss any points of application out. Instead of just slinging at the bottom like an after thought, i.e where you discuss appropriates, apply it to the scenario to and and mini conclude.
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