Search Legislation

Larceny Act 1916

What Version

 Help about what version
  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As enacted)

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted). This item of legislation is currently only available in its original format.

Larceny Act 1916

1916 CHAPTER 50

An Act to consolidate and simplify the Law relating to Larceny triable on Indictment and Kindred Offences.

[31st October 1916]

Be it enactedby the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :

1Definition

For the purposes of this Act—

(1)A person steals who, without the consent of the owner, fraudulently and without a claim of right made in good faith, takes and carries away anything capable of being stolen with intent, at the time of such taking, permanently to deprive the owner thereof :

Provided that a person may be guilty of stealing any such thing notwithstanding that he has lawful possession thereof, if, being a bailee or part owner thereof, he fraudulently converts the same to his own use or the use of any person other than the owner:

(2)—(i) the expression " takes" includes obtaining the possession—

(a)by any trick ;

(b)by intimidation;

(c)under a mistake on the part of the owner with knowledge on the part of the taker that possession has been so obtained ;

(d)by finding, where at the time of the finding the finder believes that the owner can be discovered by taking reasonable steps ;

(ii)the expression "carries away " includes any removal of anything from the place which it occupies, but in the case of a thing attached, only if it has been completely detached;

(iii)the expression " owner" includes any part owner, or person having possession or control of, or a special property in, anything capable of being stolen :

(3)Everything which has value and is the property of any person, and if adhering to the realty then after severance therefrom, shall be capable of being stolen:

Provided that—

(a)save as hereinafter expressly provided with respect to fixtures, growing things, and ore from mines, anything attached to or forming part of the realty shall not be capable of being stolen by the person who severs the same from the realty, unless after severance he has abandoned, possession thereof; and

(b)the carcase of a creature wild by nature and not reduced into possession while living shall not be capable of being stolen by the person who has killed such creature, unless after killing it he has abandoned possession of the carcase.

2Simple larceny

Stealing for which no special punishment is provided under this or any other Act for the time being in force shall be simple larceny and a felony punishable with penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years, and the offender, if a male under the age of sixteen years, shall be liable to be once privately whipped in addition to any other punishment to which he may by law be liable.

3Larceny of cattle

Every person who steals any horse, cattle, or sheep shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

4Killing animals with intent to steal

Every person who wilfully kills any animal with intent to steal the carcase skin, or any part of the animal killed, shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to the same punishment as if he had stolen such animal, provided that the offence of stealing the animal so killed would have amounted to felony.

5Larceny, &c, of dogs

Every person who—

(1)steals any dog after a previous summary conviction of any such offence; or

(2)unlawfully has in his possession or on his premises any stolen dog, or the skin thereof, knowing such dog or skin to have been stolen, after a previous summary conviction of any such offence ; or

(3)corruptly takes any money or reward, directly or indirectly, under pretence or upon account of aiding any person to recover any stolen dog, or any dog which is in the possession of any person not being the owner thereof;

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and on conviction thereof liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding eighteen months, with or without hard labour.

6Larceny of wills

Every person who steals any will, codicil, or other testamentary instrument, either of a dead or of a living person, shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life.

7Larceny of documents of title to lands and other legal documents

Every person who steels the whole or any part of—

(1)any document of title to lands; or

(2)any record, writ, return, panel, petition, process, interrogatory, deposition, affidavit, rule, order, warrant of attorney, or any original document of or belonging to any court of record, or relating to any cause or matter, civil or criminal, begun, depending, or terminated in any such court; or

(3)any original document relating to the business of any office or employment under His Majesty, and being or remaining in any office appertaining to any court of justice, or in any of His Majesty's castles, palaces, or houses, or in any government or public office ;

shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years.

8Damaging fixtures, trees, &c, with intent to steal

Every person who—

(1)Steals, or, with intent to steal, rips cuts severs or breaks—

(a)any glass or woodwork belonging to any building; or

(b)any metal or utensil or fixture, fixed in or to any building ; or

(c)anything made of metal fixed in any land being private property, or as a fence to any dwelling-house, garden or area, or in any square or street, or in any place dedicated to public use or ornament, or in any burial-ground:

(2)Steals, or, with intent to steal, cuts, breaks, roots up or otherwise destroys or damages the whole or any part of any tree, sapling, shrub, or underwood growing—

(a)in any place whatsoever, the value of the article stolen or the injury done being to the amount of one shilling at the least, after two previous summary convictions of any such offence; or

(b)in any park, pleasure ground, garden, orchard, or avenue, or in any ground adjoining or belonging to any dwelling-house, the value of the article stolen or the injury done exceeding the amount of one pound ; or

(c)in any place whatsoever, the value of the article stolen or the injury done exceeding the amount of five pounds :

(3)Steals, or with intent to steal, destroys or damages any plant, root, fruit, or vegetable production growing in any garden, orchard, pleasure ground, nursery-ground, hothouse, greenhouse or conservatory, after a previous summary conviction of any such offence ;

shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to be punished as in the case of simple larceny.

9Larceny of goods in process of manufacture

Every person who steals, to the value of ten shillings, any woollen, linen, hempen or cotton yarn, or any goods or article of silk, woollen, linen, cotton, alpaca or mohair, or of any one or more of those materials mixed with each other, or mixed with any other material, whilst laid, placed or exposed, during any stage, process or progress of manufacture in any building, field or other place, shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

10Abstracting of electricity

Every person who maliciously or fraudulently abstracts, causes to be wasted or diverted, consumes or uses any electricity shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to be punished as in the case of simple larceny.

11Larceny, &c, of ore from mines

Every person who steals, or severs with intent to steal, the ore of any metal, or any lapis calaminaris, manganese, mundick, wad, black cawke, black lead, coal, or cannel coal from any mine bed or vein thereof, shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years with or without hard labour.

12Larceny of postal packets, &c

Every person who—

(1)steals a mail bag ; or

(2)steals from a mail bag, post office, officer of the Post Office, or mail, any postal packet in course of transmission by post; or

(3)steals any chattel, money or valuable security out of a postal packet in course of transmission by post; or

(4)stops a mail with intent to rob the mail;

shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life.

13Larceny in dwelling-houses

Every person who steals in any dwelling-house any chattel, money, or valuable security shall—

(a)if the value of the property stolen amounts to five pounds; or

(b)if he by any menace or threat puts any person being in such dwelling-house in bodily fear;

be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

14Larceny from the person

Every person who steals any chattel, money, or valuable security from the person of another shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

15Larceny from ships, docks, &c

Every person who steals—

(1)any goods in any vessel, barge or boat of any description in any haven or any port of entry or discharge or upon any navigable river or canal or in any creek or basin belonging to or communicating with any such haven, port, river, or canal; or

(2)any goods from any dock, wharf or quay adjacent to any such haven, port, river, canal, creek, or basin ; or

(3)any part of any vessel in distress, wrecked, stranded, or cast on shore, or any goods, merchandise, or articles of any kind belonging to such vessel;

shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

16Larceny by tenants or lodgers

Every person who, being a tenant or lodger, or the husband or wife of any tenant or lodger, steals any chattel or fixture let to be used by such person in or with any house or lodging shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable—

(a)if the value of such chattel or fixture exceeds the sum of five pounds, to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years ;

(b)in all other cases, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding two years, with or without hard labour;

(c)in any case, if a male under the age of sixteen years, to be once privately whipped in addition to any other punishment to which he may by law be liable.

17Larceny and embezzlement by clerks or servants

Every person who—

(1)being a clerk or servant or person employed in the capacity of a clerk or servant—

(a)steals any chattel, money or valuable security belonging to or in the possession or power of his master or employer ; or

(b)fraudulently embezzles the whole or any part of any chattel, money or valuable security delivered to or received or taken into possession by him for or in the name or on the account of his master or employer :

(2)being employed in the public service of His Majesty or in the police of any place whatsoever—

(a)steals any chattel, money, or valuable security belonging to or in the possession of His Majesty or entrusted to or received or taken into possession by such person by virtue of his. employment; or

(b)embezzles or in any manner fraudulently applies or disposes of for any purpose whatsoever except for the public service any chattel, money or valuable security entrusted to or received or taken into possession by him by virtue of his employment:

(3)being appointed to any office or service by or under a local marine board—

(a)fraudulently applies or disposes of any chattel, money or valuable security received by him (whilst employed in such office or service) for or on account of any local marine board or for or on account of any other public board or department, for his own use or any use or purpose other than that for which the same was. paid, entrusted to, or received by him ; or

(b)fraudulently withholds, retains, or keeps back the same, or any part thereof, contrary to any lawful directions or instructions which he is required to obey in relation to his office or service aforesaid;

shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years, and in the case of a clerk or servant or person employed for the purpose or in the capacity of a clerk or servant, if a male under the age of sixteen years, to be once privately whipped in addition to any other punishment to which he may by law be liable.

18Embezzlement by officer of the Post Office

Every person who, being an officer of the Post Office, steals or embezzles a postal packet in course of transmission by post shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable—

(a)if the postal packet contains any chattel, money or valuable security, to penal servitude for life:

(b)in all other cases to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years.

19Embezzlement, &c, by officers of the Bank of England or Ireland

Every person who, being an officer or servant of the Bank of England or of the Bank of Ireland, secretes, embezzles, or runs away with any bond, deed, note, bill, dividend warrant, warrant for the payment of any annuity, interest or money, security, money or other effects of or belonging to the Bank of England or Bank of Ireland and entrusted to him or lodged or deposited with the Bank of England or Bank of Ireland, or with him as such officer or servant, shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life.

20Conversion

(1)Every person who—

(i)being entrusted either solely or jointly with any other person with any power of attorney for the sale or transfer of any property, fraudulently sells, transfers, or otherwise converts the property or any part thereof to his own use or benefit, or the use or benefit of any person other than the person by whom he was so entrusted ; or

(ii)being a director, member or officer of any body corporate or public company, fraudulently takes or applies for hi& own use or benefit, or for any use or purposes other than the use or purposes of such body corporate or public company, any of the property of such body corporate or public company; or

(iii)being authorised to receive money to arise from the sale of any annuities or securities purchased, or transferred under the provisions of Part V. of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, or under any Act repealed by that Act, or under the Municipal Corporation Mortgages, &c, Act, 1860, or any dividends thereon, or any other such money as is referred to in the said Acts, appropriates the same otherwise than as directed by the said Acts or by the Local Government Board or the Treasury (as the case may be) in pursuance thereof ; or

(iv)(a) being entrusted either solely or jointly with any other person with any property in order that he may retain in safe custody or apply, pay, or deliver, for any purpose or to any person, the property or any part thereof or any proceeds thereof; or

(b)having either solely or jointly with any other person received any property for or on account of any other person;

fraudulently converts to his own use or benefit, or the use or benefit of any other person, the property or any part thereof or any proceeds thereof;

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years.

(2)Nothing in paragraph (iv) of subsection (1) of this section shall apply to or affect any trustee under any express trust created by a deed or will, or any mortgagee of any property, real or personal, in respect of any act done by the trustee or mortgagee in relation to the property comprised in or affected by any such trust or mortgage.

21Conversion by trustee

Every person who, being a trustee as herein-after defined, of any property for the use or benefit either wholly or partially of some other person, or for any public or charitable purpose, with intent to defraud converts or appropriates the same or any part thereof to or for his own use or benefit, or the use or benefit of any person other than such person as aforesaid, or for any purpose other than such public or charitable purpose as aforesaid, or otherwise disposes of or destroys such property or any part thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years. Provided that no prosecution for any offence included in this section shall be commenced—

(a)by any person without the sanction of the Attorney General, or, in case that office be vacant, of the Solicitor-General;

(b)by any person who has taken any civil proceedings against such trustee, without the sanction also of the court or judge before whom such civil proceedings have been had or are pending.

22Factors obtaining advances on the property of their principals

(1)Every person who, being a factor or agent entrusted either solely or jointly with any other person for the purpose of sale or otherwise, with the possession of any goods or of any document of title to goods contrary to or without the authority of his principal in that behalf for his own use or benefit, or the use or benefit of any person other than the person by whom he was so entrusted, and in violation of good faith—

(i)Consigns, deposits, transfers, or delivers any goods or document of title so entrusted to him as and by way of a pledge, lien, or security for any money or valuable security borrowed or received, or intended to be borrowed or received by him ; or

(ii)Accepts any advance of any money or valuable security on the faith of any contract or agreement to consign, deposit, transfer, or deliver any such goods or document of title;

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and on conviction thereof, liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years : Provided that no such factor or agent shall be liable to any prosecution for consigning, depositing, transferring or delivering any such goods or documents of title, in case the same shall not be made a security for or subject to the payment of any greater sum of money than the amount which at the time of such consignment, deposit, transfer, or delivery, was justly due and owing to such agent from his principal, together with the amount of any bill of exchange drawn by or on account of such principal and accepted by such factor or agent.

(2)—(a) Any factor or agent entrusted as aforesaid and in possession of any document of title to goods shall be deemed to have been entrusted with the possession of the goods represented by such document of title.

(b)Every contract pledging or giving a lien upon such document of title as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a pledge of and lien upon the goods to which the same relates.

(c)Any such factor or agent as aforesaid shall be deemed to be in possession of such goods or documents whether the same are in his actual custody or are held by any other person subject to his control, or for him or on his behalf.

(d)Where any loan or advance is made in good faith to any factor or agent entrusted with and in possession of any such goods or document of title on the faith of any contract or agreement in writing to consign, deposit, transfer, or deliver such goods or documents of title and such goods or documents of title are actually received by the person making such loan or advance, without notice that such factor or agent was not authorised to make such pledge or security, every such loan or advance shall be deemed to be a loan or advance on the security of such goods or documents of title and within the meaning of this section, though such goods or documents of title are not actually received by the person making such loan or advance till the period subsequent thereto.

(e)Any payment made whether by money or bill of exchange or other negotiable security shall be deemed to be an advance within the meaning of this section. .

(f)Any contract or agreement whether made direct with such factor or agent as aforesaid or with any person on his behalf shall be deemed to be a contract or agreement with such factor or agent.

(g)Any factor or agent entrusted as aforesaid, and in possession of any goods or document of title to goods shall be deemed, for the purposes of this section, to have been entrusted therewith by the owner thereof, unless the contrary be shown in evidence.

23Robbery

(1)Every person who—

(a)being armed with any offensive weapon or instrument, or being together with one other person or more, robs, or assaults with intent to rob, any person ;

(b)robs any person and, at the time of or immediately before or immediately after such robbery, uses any personal violence to any person ;

shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life, and, in addition, if a male, to be once privately whipped.

(2)Every person who robs any person shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

(3)Every person who assaults any person with intent to rob shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years.

24Sacrilege

Every person who—

(1)breaks and enters any place of divine worship and commits any felony therein ; or

(2)breaks out of any place of divine worship, having committed any felony therein;

shall be guilty of felony called sacrilege and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life.

25Burglary

Every person who in the night—

(1)breaks and enters the dwelling-house of another with intent to commit any felony therein; or

(2)breaks out of the dwelling-house of another, having—

(a)entered the said dwelling-house with intent to commit any felony therein ; or

(b)committed any felony in the said dwellinghouse ;

shall be guilty of felony called burglary and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life.

26Housebreaking and committing felony

Every person who—

(1)breaks and enters any dwelling-house, or any building within the curtilage thereof and occupied therewith, or any school-house, shop, warehouse, counting-house, office, store, garage, pavilion, factory, or workshop, or any building belonging to His Majesty, or to any Government Department, or to any municipal or other public authority, and commits any felony therein ; or

(2)breaks out of the same, having committed any felony therein;

shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years.

27Housebreaking with intent to commit felony

Every person who, with intent to commit any felony therein,—

(1)enters any dwelling-house in the night; or

(2)breaks and enters any dwelling-house, place of divine worship or any building within the curtilage, or any school-house, shop, warehouse, counting-house, office, store, garage, pavilion, factory, or workshop, or any building belonging to His Majesty, or to any Government Department, or to any municipal or other public authority ;

shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years.

28Being found by night armed or in possession of housebreaking implements

Every person who shall be found by night—

(1)armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, with intent to break or enter into any building and to commit any felony therein ; or

(2)having in his possession without lawful excuse (the proof whereof shall lie on such person) any key, picklock, crow, jack, bit, or other implement of house-breaking ; or

(3)having his face blackened or disguised with intent to commit any felony ; or

(4)in any building with intent to commit any felony therein ;

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and on conviction thereof liable—

(a)if he has been previously convicted of any such misdemeanour or of any felony, to penal servitude for any term not exceeding ten years ;

(b)in all other cases, to penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years.

29Demanding money, &c, with menaces

(1)Every person who—

(i)utters, knowing the contents thereof, any letter or writing demanding of any person with menaces, and without any reasonable or probable cause, any property or valuable thing;

(ii)utters, knowing the contents thereof, any letter or writing accusing or threatening to accuse any other person (whether living or dead) of any crime to which this section applies, with intent to extort or gain thereby any property or valuable thing from any person;

(iii)with intent to extort or gain any property or valuable thing from any person accuses or threatens to accuse either that person or any other person (whether living or dead) of any such crime ;

shall be guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life, and, if a male under the age of sixteen years, to be once privately whipped in addition to any other punishment to which he may by law be liable.

(2)Every person who with intent to defraud or injure any other person—

(a)by any unlawful violence to or restraint of the person of another, or

(b)by accusing or threatening to accuse any person (whether living or dead) of any such crime or of any felony,

compels or induces any person to execute, make, accept, endorse, alter, or destroy the whole or any part of any valuable security, or to write, impress, or affix the name of any person, company, firm or co-partnership, or the seal of any body corporate, company or society upon or to any paper or parchment in order that it may be afterwards made or converted into or used or dealt with as a valuable security, shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for life.

(3)This section applies to any crime punishable with death, or penal servitude for not less than seven years, or any assault with intent to commit any rape, or any attempt to commit any rape, or any solicitation, persuasion, promise, or threat offered or made to any person, whereby to move or induce such person to commit or permit the abominable crime of buggery, either with mankind or with any animal.

(4)For the purposes of this Act it is immaterial whether any menaces or threats be of violence, injury, or accusation to be caused or made by the offender or by any other person.

30Demanding with menaces with intent to steal

Every person who with menaces or by force demands of any person anything capable of being stolen with intent to steal the same shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years.

31Threatening to publish, with intent to extort

Every person who with intent—

(a)to extort any valuable thing from any person, or

(b)to induce any person to confer or procure for any person any appointment or office of profit or trust,

(1)publishes or threatens to publish any libel upon any other person (whether living or dead); or

(2)directly or indirectly threatens to print or publish, or directly or indirectly proposes to abstain from or offers to prevent the printing or publishing of any matter or thing touching any other person (whether living or dead);

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and on conviction thereof liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding two years.

32False pretences

Every person who by any false pretence—

(1)with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person any chattel, money, or valuable security, or causes or procures any money to be paid, or any chattel or valuable security to be delivered to himself or to any other person for the use or benefit or on account of himself or any other person ; or

(2)with intent to defraud or injure any other person, fraudulently causes or induces any other person—

(a)to execute, make, accept, endorse, or destroy the whole or any part of any valuable security ; or

(b)to write, impress, or affix his name or the name of any other person, or the seal of any body corporate or society, upon any paper or parchment in order that the same may be afterwards made or converted into, or used or dealt with as, a valuable security ;

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding five years.

33Receiving

(1)Every person who receives any property knowing the same to have been stolen or obtained in any way whatsoever under circumstances which amount to felony or misdemeanour, shall be guilty of an offence of the like degree (whether felony or misdemeanour) and on conviction thereof liable—

(a)in the case of felony, to penal servitude for any term not exceeding fourteen years;

(b)in the case of misdemeanour, to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years ;

(c)in either case, if a male under the age of sixteen years, to be once privately whipped in addition to any punishment to which he may by law be liable.

(2)Every person who receives any mail bag, or any postal packet, or any chattel, or money, or valuable security, the stealing, or taking, or embezzling, or secreting whereof amounts to a felony under the Post Office Act, 1908, or this Act, knowing the same to have been so feloniously stolen, taken, embezzled, or secreted, and to have been sent or to have been intended to be sent by post, shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to the same punishment as if he had stolen, taken, embezzled, or secreted the same.

(3)Every such person may be indicted and convicted, whether the principal offender has or has not been previously convicted, or is or is not amenable to justice.

(4)Every person who, without lawful excuse, knowing the same to have been stolen or obtained in any way whatsoever under such circumstances that if the act had been committed in the United Kingdom the person committing it would have been guilty of felony or misdemeanour, receives or has in his possession any property so stolen or obtained outside the United Kingdom, shall be guilty of an offence of the like degree (whether felony or misdemeanour) and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years.

34Corruptly taking a reward

Every person who corruptly takes any money or reward, directly or indirectly, under pretence or upon account of helping any person to recover any property which has, under circumstances which amount to felony or misdemeanour, been stolen or obtained in any way whatsoever, or received, shall (unless he has used all due diligence to cause the offender to be brought to trial for the same) be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years, and, if a male under the age of sixteen years, to be once privately whipped in addition to any other punishment to which he may by law be liable.

35Accessories and abettors

Every person who knowingly and wilfully aids, abets, counsels, procures or commands the commission of an offence punishable under this Act shall be liable to be dealt with, indicted, tried and punished as a principal offender.

36Husband and wife

(1)A wife shall have the same remedies and redress under this Act for the protection and security of her own separate property as if such property belonged to her as a feme sole :

Provided that no proceedings under this Act shall be taken by any wife against her husband while they are living together as to or concerning any property claimed by her, nor while they are living apart as to or concerning any act done by the husband while they were living together concerning property claimed by the wife, unless such property has been wrongfully taken by the husband when leaving or deserting or about to leave or desert his wife.

(2)A wife doing an act with respect to any property of her husband, which, if done by the husband in respect to property of the wife, would make the husband liable to criminal proceedings by the wife under this Act, shall be in like manner liable to criminal proceedings by her husband.

37Punishments

(1)Every person who commits the offence of simple larceny after having been previously convicted of felony shall be liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding ten years.

(2)Every person who commits the offence of simple larceny, or any offence made punishable like simple larceny, after having been previously convicted—

(a)of any indictable misdemeanour punishable under this Act; or

(b)twice summarily of any offence punishable under section six of the Summary Jurisdiction (Ireland) Act, 1851, or under the Larceny Act, 1861, or under the Malicious Damage Act, 1861, or under this Act (whether each of the convictions has been in respect of an offence of the same description or not, and whether such convictions, or either of them, have been before or after the passing of this Act) ;

shall be liable to penal servitude for any term not exceeding seven years.

(3)In every case in this section before mentioned the offender, if a male under the age of sixteen years, shall be liable to be once privately whipped in addition to any other punishment to which he may by law be liable.

(4)Where a sentence of penal servitude may be imposed on conviction of an offence against this Act, the court may instead thereof impose a sentence of imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for not more than two years.

(5)—(a) On conviction of a misdemeanour punishable under this Act the court, instead of or in addition to any other punishment which may be lawfully imposed, may fine the offender.

(b)On conviction of a felony punishable under this Act the court, in addition to imposing a sentence of penal servitude or imprisonment, may require the offender to enter into his own recognizances, with or without sureties, for keeping the peace and being of good behaviour.

(c)On conviction of a misdemeanour punishable under this Act the court, instead of or in addition to any other punishment which may lawfully be imposed for the offence, may require the offender to enter into his own recognizances, with or without sureties, for keeping the peace and being of good behaviour.

(d)Provided that a person shall not be imprisoned for more than one year for not finding sureties.

(6)Where a sentence of whipping may be imposed under this Act—

(a)in the case of an offender whose age does not exceed sixteen years, the number of strokes at such whipping shall not exceed twenty-five and the instrument used shall be a birch-rod ;

(b)in the case of any other offender, the number of strokes at such whipping shall not exceed fifty ;

(c)in each case the court in its sentence shall specify the number of strokes to be inflicted and the instrument to be used;

(d)such whipping shall not take place after the expiration of six months from the passing of the sentence ;

(e)such whipping to be inflicted on any person sentenced to penal servitude shall be inflicted on him before he is removed to a convict prison with a view to his undergoing his sentence of penal servitude.

38Jurisdiction of quarter sessions

(1)A court of quarter sessions—

(a)notwithstanding anything in the Quarter Sessions Act, 1842, shall in England have jurisdiction to try an indictment for burglary;

(b)shall not have jurisdiction to try an indictment for any offence against sections twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two of this Act.

(2)A justice of the peace in England when committing for trial a person charged with burglary shall commit him for trial before a court of assize unless, owing to the absence of any circumstances which make the case a grave or difficult one, he thinks it expedient in the interest of justice to commit him for trial before a court of quarter sessions ; and the Assizes Relief Act, 1889, shall apply.

39Venue

(1)A person charged with any offence against this Act may be proceeded against, indicted, tried, and punished in any county or place in which he was apprehended or is in custody as if the offence had been committed in that county or place; and for all purposes incidental to or consequential on the prosecution, trial, or punishment of the offence, it shall be deemed to have been committed in that county or place.

(2)Every person who steals or otherwise feloniously takes any property in any one part of the United Kingdom may be dealt with, indicted, tried, and punished in any other part of the United Kingdom where he has the property in his possession in the same manner as if he had actually stolen or taken it in that part.

(3)Every person who receives in any one part of the United Kingdom any property stolen or otherwise feloniously taken in any other part of the United Kingdom may be dealt with, indicted, tried, and punished in that part of the United Kingdom where he so receives the property in the same manner as if it had been originally stolen or taken in that part.

40Procedure

(1)On the trial of an indictment for obtaining or attempting to obtain any chattel, money, or valuable security by any false pretence, it shall not be necessary to prove an intent to defraud any particular person, but it shall be sufficient to prove that the person accused did the act charged with intent to defraud.

(2)An allegation in an indictment that money or banknotes have been embezzled or obtained by false pretences can, so far as regards the description of the property, be sustained by proof that the offender embezzled or obtained any piece of coin or any banknote or any portion of the value thereof, although such piece of coin or banknote may have been delivered to him in order that some part of the value thereof should be returned to any person and such part has been returned accordingly.

(3)In an indictment for feloniously receiving any property under this Act any number of persons who have at different times so received such property or any part thereof may be charged and tried together.

(4)If any person, who is a member of any co-partnership or is one of two or more beneficial owners of any property, steals or embezzles any such property of or belonging to such co-partnership or to such beneficial owners he shall be liable to be dealt with, tried, and punished as if he had not been or was not a member of such co-partnership or one of such beneficial owners.

(5)In Ireland the following provisions shall have effect with respect to indictments :—

(a)In an indictment for an offence against this Act with reference to any instrument, it shall be sufficient to describe such instrument by any name or designation by which it is usually known, or by its purport, without setting out any copy or facsimile thereof or otherwise describing it or its value :

(b)In an indictment for any offence of stealing under this Act, distinct acts of stealing, not exceeding three, which have been committed by the person accused against the same person within the space of six months, may be charged in separate counts of the same indictment and tried together :

(c)If on the trial of an indictment for stealing any property it appears that the property alleged in such indictment to have been stolen at one time was taken at different times, such separate takings may be tried together to a number not exceeding three, provided that not more than the space of six months elapsed between the first and the last of such takings:

(d)In an indictment for any offence of embezzlement or of fraudulent application or disposition against this Act, distinct acts of embezzlement or of fraudulent application or disposition not exceeding three, which have been committed by him against the same person within the space of six months, may be charged in separate counts of the same indictment and tried together; and where such offence relates to any money or valuable security it shall not be necessary to specify any particular coin or valuable security; and such allegation shall be sustained whether the offender is proved to have embezzled or to have fraudulently applied or disposed of any amount, although the particular coin or valuable security of which such amount was composed is not proved, or whether he is proved to have embezzled or to have fraudulently applied or disposed of any valuable security which has been delivered to him in order that some part of the value thereof should be returned to any person and such part has been returned accordingly :

(e)In every case of stealing any chattel or fixture under section sixteen of this Act (relating to tenants and lodgers) it shall be lawful to prefer an indictment in the same form as if the offender were not a tenant or lodger:

(f)In an indictment for stealing any document of title to lands, it shall be sufficient to allege such document to be or to contain evidence of the title or of part of the title of the person or of someone of the persons having an interest, whether vested or contingent, legal or equitable, in the real estate to which the same relates, and to mention such real estate or some part thereof:

(g)In an indictment for an offence under this Act with respect to any will, codicil, or other testamentary document, record, or other legal document whatsoever, or anything made of metal fixed in any square or street, or in any place dedicated to public use or ornament, or in any burial-ground, it shall not be necessary to allege the same to be the property of any person:

(h)In an indictment under section sixteen of this Act it shall be lawful to lay the property alleged to be stolen in the owner or person letting to hire :

(i)In an indictment for obtaining or attempting to obtain any chattel, money, or valuable security by any false pretence, it shall be sufficient to allege that the person accused did the act with intent to defraud, without alleging an intent to defraud any particular person and without alleging any ownership of the chattel, money, or valuable security :

(j)Charges of stealing any property and of feloniously receiving the same property or any part thereof may he included in separate counts of the same indictment and such counts may be tried together :

(k)Any person or persons charged in separate counts of the same indictment with stealing any property and with feloniously receiving the same property or any part thereof may severally be found guilty either of stealing or of receiving the said property or any part thereof.

41Arrest without warrant

(1)Any person found committing any offence punishable under this Act except an offence under section thirty-one may be immediately apprehended without a warrant by any person and forthwith taken, together with the property, if any, before a justice of the peace to be dealt with according to law.

(2)Any person to whom any property is offered to be sold, pawned, or delivered, if he has reasonable cause to suspect that any offence has been committed against this Act with respect to such property, shall, if in his power, apprehend and. forthwith take before a justice of the peace the person offering the same, together with such property, to be dealt with according to law.

(3)Any constable or peace officer may take into custody without warrant any person whom he finds lying or loitering in any highway, yard, or other place during the night, and whom he has good cause to suspect of having committed or being about to commit any felony against this Act, and shall take such person as soon as reasonably may be before a justice of the peace to be dealt with according to law.

42Search warrants

(1)If it is made to appear by information on oath before a justice of the peace that there is reasonable cause to believe that any person has in his custody or possession or on his premises any property whatsoever, with respect to which any offence against this Act has been committed, the justice may grant a warrant to search for and seize the same.

(2)—(a) Any constable or peace officer may, if authorised in writing by a chief officer of police, enter any house, shop, warehouse, yard, or other premises, and search for and seize any property he believes to have been stolen, and, where any property is seized in pursuance of this section, the person on whose premises it was at the time of seizure or the person from whom it was taken shall, unless previously charged with receiving the same knowing it to have been stolen, be summoned before a court of summary jurisdiction to account for his possession of such property, and such court shall make such order respecting the disposal of such property and may award such costs as the justice of the case may require.

(b)It shall be lawful for any chief officer of police to give such authority as aforesaid—

(i)when the premises to be searched are or within the preceding twelve months have been in the occupation of any person who has been convicted of receiving stolen property or of harbouring thieves ; or

(ii)when the premises to be searched are in the occupation of any person who has been convicted of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty and punishable with penal servitude or imprisonment.

(c)It shall not be necessary for such chief officer of police on giving such authority to specify any particular property, but he may give such authority if he has reason to believe generally that such premises are being made a receptacle for stolen goods.

43Evidence

(1)Whenever any person is being proceeded against for receiving any property, knowing it to have been stolen, or for having in his possession stolen property, for the purpose of proving guilty knowledge there may be given in evidence at any stage of the proceedings—

(a)the fact that other property stolen within the period of twelve months preceding the date of the offence charged was found or had been in his possession ;

(b)the fact that within the five years preceding the date of the offence charged he was convicted of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty. This last-mentioned fact may not be proved unless—

(i)seven days' notice in writing has been given to the offender that proof of such previous conviction is intended to be given ;

(ii)evidence has been given that the property in respect of which the offender is being tried was found or had been in his possession.

(2)No person shall be liable to be convicted of any offence against sections six, seven subsection (1), twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two of this Act upon any evidence whatever in respect of any act done by him, if at any time previously to his being charged with such offence he has first disclosed such act on oath, in consequence of any compulsory process of any court of law or equity in any action, 'suit, or proceeding which has been bona fide instituted by any person aggrieved.

(3)In any proceedings in respect of any offence against sections six, seven subsection (1), twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two of this Act, a statement or admission made by any person in any compulsory examination or deposition before any court on the hearing of any matter in bankruptcy shall not be admissible in evidence against that person.

44Verdict

(1)If on the trial of any indictment for robbery, it is proved that the defendant committed an assault with intent to rob, the jury may acquit the defendant of robbery and find him guilty of an assault with intent to rob, and thereupon he shall be liable to be punished accordingly.

(2)If on the trial of any indictment for any offence against section seventeen of this Act (relating to embezzlement) it is proved that the defendant stole the property in question, the jury may find him guilty of stealing, and thereupon he shall be liable to be punished accordingly; and on the trial of any indictment for stealing the jury may in like manner find the defendant guilty of embezzlement or of fraudulent application or disposition, as the case may be, and thereupon he shall be liable to be punished accordingly.

(3)If on the trial of any indictment for stealing it is proved that the defendant took any chattel, money, or valuable security in question in any such manner as would amount in law to obtaining it by false pretences, with intent to defraud, the jury may acquit the defendant of stealing and find him guilty of obtaining the chattel, money, or valuable security by false pretences, and thereupon he shall be liable to be punished accordingly.

(4)If on the trial of any indictment for obtaining any chattel, money, or valuable security by false pretences it is proved that the defendant stole the property in question, he shall not by reason thereof be entitled to be acquitted of obtaining such property by false pretences.

(5)If on the trial of any two or more persons indicted for jointly receiving any property it is proved that one or more of such persons separately received any part of such property, the jury may convict upon such indictment such of the said persons as are proved to have received any part of such property.

45Restitution

(1)If any person guilty of any such felony or misdemeanour as is mentioned in this Act, in stealing, taking, obtaining, extorting, embezzling, converting, or disposing of, or in knowingly receiving, any property, is prosecuted to conviction by or on behalf of the owner of such property, the property shall be restored to the owner or his representative.

(2)In every case in this section referred to the court before whom such offender is convicted shall have power to award from time to time writs of restitution for the said property or to order the restitution thereof in a summary manner :

Provided that where goods as defined in the Sale of Goods Act, 1893, have been obtained by fraud or other wrongful means not amounting to stealing, the property in such goods shall not re-vest in the person who was the owner of the goods or his personal representative, by reason only of the conviction of the offender :

And provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the case of—

(a)any valuable security which has been in good faith paid or discharged by some person or body corporate liable to the payment thereof, or, being a negotiable instrument, has been in good faith taken or received by transfer or delivery by some person or body corporate for a just and valuable consideration without any notice or without any reasonable cause to suspect that the same had been stolen ;

(b)Any offence against sections twenty, twenty-one, and twenty-two of this Act.

(3)On the restitution of any stolen property if it appears to the court by the evidence that the offender has sold the stolen property to any person, and that such person has had no knowledge that the same was stolen, and that any moneys have been taken from the offender on his apprehension, the court may, on the application of such purchaser, order that out of such moneys a sum not exceeding the amount of the proceeds of such sale be delivered to the said purchaser.

46Interpretation

(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—The expression " chief officer of police " means—

(a)In the city of London, the Commissioner of City Police;

(b)In the Metropolitan Police District, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis ;

(c)In any other police district in England, the officer having the chief command of the police in such police district;

(d)In the police district of Dublin Metropolis, either of the commissioners of police for the said district ;

(e)In any other police district in Ireland, the sub-inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary ;

and shall include any person authorised by such said chief officer of police to act in his behalf:

The expression " document of title to goods " includes any bill of lading, India warrant, dock warrant, warehouse-keeper's certificate, wan-ant or order for the delivery or transfer of any goods or valuable thing, bought or sold note, or any other document used in the ordinary course of business as proof of the possession or control of goods, or authorising or purporting to authorise, either by endorsement or by delivery, the possessor of such document to transfer or receive any goods thereby represented or therein mentioned or referred to :

The expression " document of title to lands" includes any deed, map, roll, register, paper, or parchment, written or printed, or partly written and partly printed, being or containing evidence of the title, or any part of the title, to any real estate or to any interest in or out of any real estate :

The expressions "mail," "mail bag,'' "officer of the Post Office," "postal packet," "post office," and "in course of transmission by post," shall have the same meanings in this Act as in the Post Office Act, 1908:

The expression " night'' means the interval between nine o'clock in the evening and six o'clock in the morning of the next succeeding day :

The expression " property" includes any description of real and personal property, money, debts, and legacies, and all deeds and instruments relating to or evidencing the title or right to any property, or giving a right to recover or receive any money or goods, and also includes not only such property as has been originally in the possession or under the control of any person, but also any property into or for which the same has been converted or exchanged, and anything acquired by such conversion or exchange, whether immediately or otherwise :

The expression " trustee " means a trustee on some express trust created by some deed, will, or instrument in writing, and includes the heir or personal representative of any such trustee, and any other person upon or to whom the duty of such trust shall have devolved or come, and also an executor and administrator, and an official receiver, assignee, liquidator, or other like officer acting under any present or future Act relating to joint stock companies or bankruptcy :

The expression " valuable security " includes any writing entitling or evidencing the title of any person to any share or interest in any public stock, annuity, fund, or debt of any part of His Majesty's Dominions, or of any foreign state, or in any stock, annuity, fund, or debt of any body corporate, company, or society, whether within or without His Majesty's Dominions, or to any deposit in any bank, and also includes any scrip, debenture, bill, note, warrant, order, or other security for payment of money, or any accountable receipt, release, or discharge, or any receipt or other instrument evidencing the payment of money, or the delivery of any chattel personal, and any document of title to lands or goods as hereinbefore defined.

(2)The expression " dwelling-house" does not include a building although within the same curtilage with any dwellinghouse and occupied therewith unless there is a communication between such building and dwelling-house, either immediate or by means of a covered and enclosed passage leading from one to the other.

(3)References in this Act to any Act in force at the commencement of this Act shall be held to include a reference to that Act as amended, extended, or applied by any other Act.

47Savings

(1)Where, by virtue of some other Act, an offence against this Act subjects the offender to any forfeiture or disqualification, or to any penalty other than penal servitude or fine, the liability of the offender to punishment under this Act shall be in addition to and not in substitution for his liability under such other Act.

(2)Where an offence against this Act is by any other Act, whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act, made punishable on summary conviction, proceedings may be taken either under such other Act or under this Act: Provided that where such an offence was at the commencement of this Act punishable only on summary conviction, it shall remain only so punishable.

48Repeals

(1)The enactments specified in the Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed as to England and Ireland to the extent specified in the third column thereof.

(2)For the purposes of the First Schedule to the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, the first subsection of the thirty-third section of this Act shall be substituted for the ninety-first and ninety-fifth sections of the Larceny Act, 1861.

49Extent

This Act shall not extend to Scotland, except as hereinbefore otherwise expressly provided.

50Short title and commencement

This Act may be cited as the Larceny Act, 1916, and shall come into operation on the first day of January nineteen hundred and seventeen.

ScheduleEnactments Repealed

Session and Chapter.Title or Short Title.Extent of Repeal.
33 Hen. 8. c.12.Section thirteen.
6 & 7 Vict. c. 96.The Libel Act, 1843.Section three.
14 & 15 Vict. c. 100.The Criminal Procedure Act, 1851.

In section five, so far as it relates to Ireland, the words " stealing, " embezzling," and the words " or for obtaining by false pretences."

Section eighteen, from the words " and in cases " to the end of the section.

17 & 18 Vict. c. 112.The Literary and Scientific Institutions Act, 1854.In section twenty-six, from "steal" to "chattels of the " institution, or."
23 & 24 Vict. c. 16.The Municipal Corporation Mortgages, &c. Act, 1860.Section seven.
24 & 25 Vict. c. 96.The Larceny Act, 1861.

In section one, from " the term " 'trustee'" to "bankruptcy " or insolvency " ; and from " for the purposes of this Act, " the night" to " succeeding " day."

Sections two to eleven, both inclusive.

In section eighteen, from " and

" whosoever" to the end of

the section. In section nineteen, from "and

" whosoever " to the end of the

section. Section twenty.

In section twenty-six, from the

beginning of the section to

" simple larceny and." In section twenty - seven, the

words " shall steal, or." In section twenty - eight, the

words " shall steal, or." In section twenty-nine, the words,

" steal or." In section thirty, the words

" shall steal or." Sections thirty-one and thirty-two. In section thirty - three, from " and whosoever having been " twice convicted " to the end of the section.

In section thirty-six, from " and " whosoever " to the end of the section.

Section thirty-eight.

Sections forty to sixty-four, both inclusive.

Sections sixty-seven to seventy-four, both inclusive.

Sections seventy-seven to eighty-one, both inclusive.

Sections eighty-eight to ninety-six, both inclusive.

In section ninety-eight, the words " except only a receiver of stolen " property."

Sections one hundred and

One hundred and one.

Section one hundred and fourteen.

30 & 31 Vict. c. 35.The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1867.In section nine, the words "either" and the words "or " otherwise."
31 & 32 Vict. c. 116.The Larceny Act, 1868.Section one.
34 & 35 Vict. c. 112.The Prevention of Crimes Act, 1871.Sections sixteen and nineteen.
39 & 40 Vict. c. 20.The Statute Law Revision (Substituted Enactments)Act, 1876.Section three.
45 & 46 Vict. c. 50.The Municipal Corporations Act. 1882.Section one hundred and seventeen.
45 & 46 Vict. c. 56.The Electric Lighting Act, 1882.Section twenty-three.
59 & 60 Vict. c. 52.The Larceny Act, 1896.The whole Act.
59 & 60 Vict. c. 57.The Burglary Act, 1896.The whole Act.
1 Edw. 7. c. 10The Larceny Act, 1901.The whole Act.
4 & 5 Geo. 5. c. 58.The Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914.

Section thirty-five. Section thirty-nine, subsection two.

The Third Schedule.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources