R v Dawson [1977]

R v Dawson [1977] 64 Cr App R 170 involved the question of whether mere nudging could constitute force under Section 8 of the Theft Act 1968. The case emphasised that the determination of whether force was used is a matter of fact for the jury.

A group of thieves approached the victim. One of them nudged the victim to distract him, while another member of the group took his wallet. The thieves were subsequently convicted of robbery, but they appealed on the grounds that the act of nudging did not amount to the use of force under Section 8 of the Theft Act 1968.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, emphasising that the assessment of whether force was employed, as per the provisions of section 8, is within the purview of the jury. The court stated that it is the jury's prerogative to decide whether force, even in the form of mere nudging, was utilised during the commission of the crime.

The decision reinforced the idea that the application of force is a factual determination that falls within the realm of the jury's discretion.
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