R v Jones and Smith [1976]

R v Jones and Smith [1976]

R v Jones and Smith [1976] 1 WLR 672 addressed the elements of trespass under Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968. The court clarified that the actus reus of trespass involves entry for a purpose in excess of permission, and the mens rea for trespass under Section 9 can be knowledge or recklessness as to exceeding permission.

The defendants entered the father's house and stole two televisions. The defendants was subsequently charged and convicted of burglary. The defendants appealed, arguing that there was no trespassing because he had been given general permission to enter the house.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, affirming The defendants' conviction. James LJ, delivering the judgment, provided key considerations in the case. James LJ clarified that for the purposes of Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968, a person is considered a trespasser when they enter premises knowing that they are entering in excess of the permission given or when they are reckless about whether they are entering in excess of permission. This applies as long as the facts are available for the person to consider.

In this case, the court was satisfied that the defendants knew he had entered in excess of the permission given to him. Therefore, the actus reus of trespass was established by the defendants' entry for a purpose in excess of the permission granted, and the mens rea was satisfied through the defendants' knowledge of exceeding the permission.

This case clarifies that, for the offence of burglary under Section 9 of the Theft Act 1968, a person is considered a trespasser when entering premises with the knowledge or recklessness about exceeding the given permission. The case underscores the importance of the defendant's state of mind in determining the offence of trespass under the specified legal provisions.
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