Director of Public Prosecutions v Ray: HL 25 Jul 1973

The defendant ordered a meal at a restaurant believing his companion would lend him the money to pay. He later decided to seek to avoid payment and took a opportunity to escape.
Held: The appeal was allowed and the conviction restored. The ordering of the meal amounted to a representation that he could pay and intended to pay. The representation was continuing. The question was at what point if any he deceived the waiter as to his intention.
Lord Reid said (dissenting) that the mere waiting for an opportunity to escape was not a deception: ‘Deception is an essential ingredient of the offence. Dishonest evasion of an obligation to pay is not enough. I cannot see that there was, in fact, any more than that in this case.’ and ‘So the accused, after he changed his mind, must have done something intended to induce the waiter to believe that he still intended to pay before he left. Deception, to my mind, implies something positive.’
Lord Reid, Lord MacDcrmott, Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest, Lord Hodson, Lord Pearson
[1973] UKHL 3, [1974] AC 370
Theft Act 1968 16
England and Wales
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Cited by:
CitedRegina v Allen HL 13-Jun-1984
Parliamentary Records Admiisible
The defendant had left his hotel without paying, and was charged with making off without payment. He said he intended to pay the bill later after making some business transactions. The judge had directed the jury that the intent to avoid payment . .
CitedSilverman, Regina v CACD 31-Mar-1987
The defendant appealed against his conviction for offences of for dishonesty. He was said ti have grossly overcharged two spinster sisters for work on their home. He said that the judge had failed properly to put his defence before the jury.
Updated: 24 August 2021; Ref: scu.248602