Regina v Bonner and Others: CACD 24 Feb 1970

The appellants challenged their convictions for theft, saying that as partners in a firm they could not be convicted of theft of partnership property.
Held: The appeals were allowed for the unsatisfactory and unsafe nature of the convictions on the particular evidence. However, the 1861 Act having not been repealed, and that: ‘the object of the Theft Act was to get rid of the subtleties and, indeed, in many cases the absurd anomalies of the pre-existing law. The view of this Court is that in relation to partnership property the provisions in the Theft Act have the following result: provided there is the basic ingredients of dishonesty, provided there be no question of there being a claim of right made in good faith, provided there be an intent permanently to deprive, one partner can commit theft of partnership property just as much as one person can commit the theft of the property of another to whom he is a complete stranger.’

Edmund Davis, Karminski LJJ, Jawton J
[1970] EWCA Crim 1, [1970] 1 WLR 838, [1970] 2 All ER 97, 54 Cr App Rep 257, 134 JP 429
Theft Act 1968 1, Larceny Act 1861
CitedMorgan v Marquis 2-Nov-1853
The defendants had possession of some flour for sale under instructions from Perrin. The jury found that the sale was to be for the account of Perrin and one Shute and not Perrin alone, and that Perrin and Shute were joint tenants. Perrin committed . .
CitedFarrer v Beswick 1836
Baron Parke said: ‘I have always understood, until the doubt was raised in Barton v. Williams, that one joint-tenant or tenant in common of a chattel could not be guilty of a conversion by a sale of that chattel, unless it were sold in such a manner . .
CitedRegina v Jesse Smith 1871
Chief Justice Bovill said, referring to the 1861 Act: ‘At the time that Act (24 and 25 Vict. c. 96) was passed theft by a partner of the goods of the firm did not fall within the criminal law, either common or statute. This defect was supplied by 31 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.249922