Introduction to Burglary

Topics: Criminal law, Burglary, Theft Pages: 4 (1166 words) Published: September 19, 2013
Introduction to Burglary
Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 provides:
"(1) A person is guilty of burglary if- (a) he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or (b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm. (2) The offences referred to in subsection (1)(a) above are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, of inflicting on any person therein any grievous bodily harm or raping any person therein, and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein." There are thus two types of offence: s9(1)(a) burglary and s9(1)(b) burglary. 1. ENTERS

The defendant must enter, or have entered, a building in order to be guilty of burglary. Whether there has been an entry is a question of fact for the jury. In giving them guidance, the Court of Appeal has held that there has to be an "effective" entry: * R v Brown [1985] Crim LR 212

* R v Ryan [1996] Crim LR 320.
2. AS A TRESPASSER
Reference must be made to the civil law in order to understand the term "trespass". In simple terms it could be said that D enters a building owned by V as a trespasser if D has no express or implied permission from V, or the law, to do so. For the offence of burglary to be made out there must be a finding of civil trespass, but the Court of Appeal has held that a defendant charged with burglary must have mens rea as to whether or not he is trespassing. That is, the defendant must enter "knowing that he is a trespasser … or, at the very least, is reckless whether or not he is entering the premises of another without the other party's consent." See: * R v Collins [1973] QB 100.

Even if there is consent, if the defendant acts in a way which goes beyond what the...
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