Bournemouth and

Poole College

Sixth Form Law

Bournemouth and

 Poole College

Text Only

Privacy & cookies

Change Text Size

Sixthform logo

Cases - making off

Sixthform logo

Home | Dictionary | Past papers | Cases | Modules | Exam dates  | National Exam Results | What's new?

Google logo  

| Lecture notes, here |

Allen, R v (1985) HL

Aziz, R v (1993) CA

Brooks and Brooks (1982) CA

Collis-Smith, R v  [1971] CA

Edwards v Ddin [1976] QBD

Ghosh, R v (1982) CA

Greenberg, R v [1972] Friend J.

Hammond, R v [1982]

Halai, R v [1983]

MacDavitt, R v (1981) CC

Moberley v Alsop (1991)

Ray, DPP v (1973) HL

Troughton v Metropolitan Police (1987) QBD

Vincent (Christopher James), R v [2001] CA

 

 

Allen, R v (1985) HL

^[Making off - intent permanently to avoid payment]

D left a hotel without paying his bill of 1,286.  D claimed he genuinely expected to pay the bill and intended merely to defer payment until he received the proceeds of certain business deals.

 

Held: The words 'with intent to avoid payment' required an intention to avoid payment permanently and an intention to defer payment did not suffice to establish the offence.

 

Lord Hailsham:

"To secure a conviction under section 3 the following must be proved: (1) that the defendant in fact made off without making payment on the spot; (2) the following mental elements (a) knowledge that payment on the spot was required or expected of him; and (b) dishonesty; and (c) intent to avoid payment [sc. 'Of the amount due']."

 

Not guilty

Aziz, R v (1993) CA

[Making off without payment - 'the spot' is where payment should be made]
D requested a taxi driver to take him to a club 13 miles away. On arrival D refused to pay the 15 fare claiming that the journey was only four miles. The taxid driver at first started to take them back to their hotel, then took them to the police station where he ran out of the taxi.

 

Held: The TA 1978 did not require payment be made on any particular spot.
'On the spot' related to the knowledge that the customer had as to when payment should be made.
In the case of a taxi, payment may be made whilst sitting in the car or standing at the window but the fares were requested when the customer was still in the car. The obligation to pay continued even when being taken back to the hotel.
'On the spot' was not necessarily the final destination of the journey.

 

Guilty

Brooks and Brooks (1982) CA

 

[Making off without payment - "making off" given ordinary meaning]

D1 and D2 had a meal with S in the upstairs room of a restaurant.  D1 left the restaurant in a hurry.  The manager went upstairs and found S in the toilet.  D2 also tried to leave but was caught by the manager. 

 

Held: The words 'dishonestly makes off' should be given their ordinary meaning and the jury should relate these words to the facts of any case.  'Making off' required departure from the spot where payment was required. 

"... making off ... may be an exercise accompanied by the sound of trumpets or the silent stealing away after the folding of tents."

Collis-Smith, R v  [1971] CA

[Making off - why the offence was created]
D filled his car with petrol (ownership therefore passing to him) he then falsely indicated that his employer would pay for it.


Held: He had not obtained by deception, ownership already having passed at the time he practised his deception.

Not guilty under the previous part of the Theft Act 1968

He would now be charged with evading liability by deception section 2 Theft Act 1978

Edwards v Ddin [1976] QBD

 

^[Making off - intent formed after service provided - why the offence was created]
D drove to a garage and asked the attendant to put in oil and water in his mini, when the attendant went to clean her hands D drove off without paying. Payment was never discussed or offered.

 

Held: Property passes under a contract of sale when it is intended to pass. The garage and the motorist intended the property in the petrol to pass when it is poured into the tank and irretrievably mixed with the other petrol that is in it.  Thus D could not have appropriated the property of another and was therefore not guilty of theft.

 

Not guilty

Also here

Ghosh, R v (1982) CA

^[Dishonesty two limb test]

D a surgeon was filling in as a consultant at a hospital. He pretended that he had himself carried out surgical operations and that money was due to him.  The operations had, in fact, been carried out under the NHS by someone else.

 

Held: In determining whether D was acting dishonestly, the jury had first whether according to the standards of the ordinary reasonable what was done was dishonest.

 

If it was, the jury must then consider whether D himself must have realised that what he was doing was dishonest by the standards of the ordinary reasonable person.

 

Guilty

Greenberg, R v [1972] Friend J

^[Making off - why the offence was created]
D filled up his petrol tank honestly intending to pay, changed his mind and drove off.

 

Held: Property passes under a contract of sale when it is intended to pass. The garage and the motorist intended the property in the petrol to pass when it flowed from the pump to the tank and irretrievably mixed with the other petrol that is in it.  Thus D could not have appropriated the property of another because it belonged to him and was therefore not guilty of theft.

 

Not guilty

Halai, R v [1983] CA

[Making off - mortgage advance is not a service]

D sought a mortgage advance by deception, as a result a survey was conducted of the property. This was clearly a benefit to D as it indicated that the house was security for the projected loan.

 

Held: This was not a service but a lending of money for property.

 

Not guilty

This case had been highly criticised and was distinguished in Widdowson where D attempted to enter into a hire purchase agreement by deception. Halai has "all the hallmarks of a decision per incuriam" but remains the law, but probably only for events prior to 1996 when the Theft (Amendment) Act was implemented.

 

Hammond, R v [1982] Morrison J

 

[Making off - worthless cheques - not this offence]
D was 'allowed' to leave after presenting a cheque, which proved to be worthless.

 

Held: V had allowed D to leave and therefore he had not 'made off'.

 

Not guilty

(Smith & Hogan believe D to still be guilty because he had not paid "as required or expected")

 

MacDavitt, R v (1981) CC

[Making off without payment - payment on the spot]

D had a meal with some friends but refused to pay the bill.  He started to leave but did not do so when he was told the police had been called. D admitted he intended to leave the restaurant without paying.

 

Held: 'Makes off' refers to making off from the spot where the payment is required or expected. 
What that spot is depends on the facts in any case.  In this case, the spot was the restaurant and he did not leave the restaurant.

 

Not guilty

Moberley v Alsop (1991) QBD

[Making off - where is the "spot"]
If D travels on a public transport system without a ticket and dishonestly makes off when required to produce one, it will be no defence to argue that payment should have been made before the journey began. An honest passenger inadvertently travelling without a ticket would of course be expected to pay during or after the journey.

 

Held: Payment "on the spot" is not confined to the premises, it is simply the place where payment is required.

 

Ray, DPP v (1973) HL

 

^[Making off - why the offence is needed]
D left the Wing Wah restaurant without paying for his meal. When the meal was ordered D intended to pay for it. After eating it, D changed his mind and decided to leave without paying for it. D waited for the waiter to leave the room (about 10 minutes) and then ran off from the restaurant, and hid when the police were called.

D argued that he had not, by words or conduct, made a false representation.

 

Held: D had made a false representation by conduct. 

 

Guilty (under sec 16 but ratio applicable to sec 15)

This case went to the House of Lords over a .47p chop suey and fried rice and received different opinions by the 3 magistrates and 8 judges involved.  The defendant having been convicted, acquitted and then the conviction restored. If the offence of Making Off had been available to the prosecutor it would have more suitable.

 

Troughton v Metropolitan Police (1987) QBD

 

[Making off - as required or expected - contract not legally unenforceable ]

D took a taxi home. Being drunk he had not told the driver his full address.  The driver stopped to obtain directions and D accused the driver of making an unnecessary diversion.  The taxi driver drove to the nearest police station.

 

Held: The journey was not completed and the taxi driver had breached the contract. 
The offence of "making off" requires the payment to be legally enforceable.

Therefore, the taxi driver was unable to demand the fare after he had diverted from the proper route to D's destination. 

 

Not guilty

Vincent, R v [2001] CA

 

Whole case, here

^[Making off -  payment required or expected]
D left two hotels without paying his 1,300 bills.
D claimed that he was waiting for money for TV and newspaper work and that the hotel owner had agreed that he would not have to pay them on departure.  Payment had therefore not been "expected" of him for the purposes of s.3 (1).

 

Held: Expectation that "payment on the spot" would be made had been defeated by the alleged agreements, even though those agreements might have been obtained by deception.

The fact that the agreement was obtained dishonestly does not reinstate the expectation. While the customer would be liable to be charged with obtaining services by deception, if he continued to stay at the hotel with that dishonest intention, he would not infringe section 3.

 

Not guilty

 

2000-2008 M Souper  Copyright reserved | disclaimer

 Law Weblog | Contact us |

Please visit the FREE Hunger Site