R v Briggs [2003]

R v Briggs [2003]

R v Briggs [2003] EWCA Crim 3662 concerned whether deception causing the victim to transfer property constituted appropriation under the Theft Act 1968.

Briggs, the defendant, deceived elderly relatives, leading them to pay for a new house under the names of Briggs and her father, rather than the victims. The defendant was convicted under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 for theft. The key legal question was whether the defendant's deceptive conduct resulting in the victim transferring property amounted to appropriation under the Theft Act 1968.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, and the conviction was quashed. Silber J, delivering the judgment, held that where a victim causes a payment to be made in reliance on deceptive conduct by the defendant, there is no appropriation by the defendant. Appropriation, in the context of theft, involves a physical act rather than a more remote action triggering the payment that gives rise to the charge.

The court emphasised that the offence of deception is designed to address such cases where fraudulent conduct induces a victim to make a payment. Therefore, the court concluded that there was no appropriation in this particular case under the Theft Act 1968.
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