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Theft Act 1968

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30[F1Spouses and civil partnersF1]E+W

(1)This Act shall apply in relation to the parties to a marriage, and to property belonging to the wife or husband whether or not by reason of an interest derived from the marriage, as it would apply if they were not married and any such interest subsisted independently of the marriage.

(2)Subject to subsection (4) below, a person shall have the same right to bring proceedings against that person’s wife or husband for any offence (whether under this Act or otherwise) as if they were not married,and a person bringing any such proceedings shall be competent to give evidence for the prosecution at every stage of the proceedings.

F2(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)Proceedings shall not be instituted against a person for any offence of stealing or doing unlawful damage to property which at the time of the offence belongs to that person’s wife or husband, [F3or civil partner]F3 or for any attempt, incitement or conspiracy to commit such an offence,unless the proceedings are instituted by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions:

Provided that—

(a)this subsection shall not apply to proceedings against a person for an offence—

(i)if that person is charged with committing the offence jointly with the wife or husband [F3or civil partner]F3; F4...

(ii)if by virtue of any judicial decree or order (wherever made) that person and the wife or husband are at the time of the offence under no obligation to cohabit; F5. . .[F6 or

(iii)an order (wherever made) is in force providing for the separation of that person and his or her civil partner.]

F6F7(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)F8Notwithstanding [F9section 6 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1979] subsection (4) of this section shall apply—

(a)to an arrest (if without warrant) made by the wife or husband, [F3or civil partner]F3 and

(b)to a warrant of arrest issued on an information laid by the wife or husband [F3or civil partner]F3 .

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Amendments (Textual)

F4S. 30: word at end of para. (a)(ii) of proviso repealed (5.12.2005) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), ss. 261(1)(4), 263, Sch. 27 para. 27(3), Sch. 30; S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(2)(6)

F6S. 30: para. (a)(iii) and preceding word in proviso inserted (5.12.2005) by Civil Partnership Act 2004 (c. 33), ss. 261(1), 262, Sch. 27 para. 27(3); S.I. 2005/3175, art. 2(2)

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