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CRIMINAL LAW SUPERVISION 8: SKILLS SESSION

3
PROPERTY OFFENCES AND PROBLEM QUESTION
ANSWERING
REQUIRED READING
Andrew Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law (Oxford: OUP, 5th ed., 2006) 361-85, 392-5 (note
that since the fraud act, the material in Ashworth on Obtaining by Deception has been superseded)
Or
Michael Allen, Textbook on Criminal Law (Oxford; OUP, 9th ed., 2007) Chapter 11 and 505-12
CMV Clarkson, HM Keating and SR Cunningham, Clarkson and Keating Criminal Law (London:
Thomson, 6th ed. 2007) 793-870

FURTHER READING
(THIS IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THE SUPERVISION, ALTHOUGH IT IS
USEFUL TO DEEPEN YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE COURSE)
Edward Griew Dishonesty: The Objections To Feely And Ghosh [1985]
Crim.L.R. 341.
Stephen Shute and Jeremy Horder, Thieving and Deceiving-What is the
Difference? (1993) 56 Modern Law Review 548.
Stephen Shute, Appropriation and the Law of Theft [2002] Crim LR 445

QUESTION
1.

Nathan and Joe enter Harveys supermarket. Nathan has a grudge


against Harveys: on a previous visit he was short-changed and the
store manager refused to rectify the error. He goes to the aisle where
meat is displayed, takes off the labels from cheap joints of meat and
uses them to cover the labels on more expensive joints. As a vegetarian
he does not take advantage of this himself, he merely wishes to cause
financial loss to the store. When Joe, an immature boy of 16 with a low
IQ, asks Nathan what he is doing he receives no reply. Eager to copy
whatever Nathan does, Joe too switches labels on joints of meat.
They leave the store and enter an amusement arcade. Nathan asks for
and receives from Joe 20 to play on the slot machines. Joe who is
lonely and eager to retain the companionship of Nathan has for some
months given Nathan most of the generous weekly allowance his
parents provide. Nathan is lucky on the machines, winning 50, money
which he keeps in addition to the original 20.

Nathan then goes to the Acme pawn shop where he has left a watch as
security for a loan. He informs the assistant that that he has come to
pay the loan and reclaim his watch. The moment the assistant places
the watch on the counter Nathan grabs it and runs out of the shop.
Consider the criminal liability of Nathan and Joe. Comment Critically on
the law you have applied.