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STEALING & SHOPLIFTING
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STEALING & SHOPLIFTING

It is illegal to take items from a shop and not pay for them. It is a form of stealing or larceny, commonly prosecuted under section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900. Section 117 provides “Whosoever commits larceny, or any indictable offence by this Act made punishable like larceny, shall, except in the cases hereinafter otherwise provided for, be liable to imprisonment for five years”.

In order for you to be found guilty of larceny (or shoplifting), the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The property belonged to someone other than the accused; and

  2. The property was taken and carried away; and

  3. The taking was without the consent of the owner of the property; and

  4. The property was taken with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it; and

  5. The property was taken without a claim of right made in good faith; and

  6. The property was taken dishonestly.

 

It is also possible for persons who commit larceny against their employer to be charged with a offence under section 156 of the Crimes Act 1900, which provides for the offence of “ Larceny by clerks or servants”. The maximum penalty for this offence upon conviction is 10 years imprisonment. In order for you to be found guilty of the offence of larceny by clerks or servants, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The property belonged to the employer (i.e. the employer either owned, controlled or possessed the property); and

  2. You took and carried the property away with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it; and

  3. You were dishonest in the sense that you did this with the intention of taking the property without mistake and knowing that it’s not your property; and

  4. You did that without the owner’s consent.

 

As with any criminal offence, the prosecution must prove all the elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. If you have a defence available, the prosecution must negate that defence beyond reasonable doubt if the Court is to find you guilty. If you are charged with the offence of larceny, please contact KF Lawyers Australia to arrange for a consultation to discuss potential defences and range of sentences that are available in your situation.

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