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Elements of the offence of Robbery
- Robbery contrary to section 8(1) of the Theft Act 1968 is an offence that can be tried only on indictment. The maximum penalty on conviction is imprisonment for life.
- The offence is committed when a person steals and immediately before or at the time of doing so, and in order to do so, he uses force on any person, or puts or seeks to put any person in fear of being then and there subject to force.
- The force or threats must be directed at the victim (‘uses force on any person’) and not, for example, at others or at the victim’s property. In such circumstances it may be appropriate to consider an offence of blackmail.
- If the theft is completed before the assault takes place then robbery cannot be proved, because of the requirement that the force must be used ‘in order’ to steal. This can be determined only on the facts of each case.
- If a theft takes place after an assault it will be a matter of fact for the tribunal of fact to determine whether the force was used ‘in order’ to steal. In the case of R v Harris(The Times 4 March 1988), the defendant was not guilty of robbery, by stealing from the victim who had been rendered powerless by others without the complicity of the defendant.
This article is based on public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0. The original information can be found here; https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/public-order-offences-incorporating-charging-standard