Regina v Gilks: CACD 27 Jun 1972

The appellant had placed a bet at a betting shop on a certain horse. A horse with a similar name won, but by mistake the shop paid out on the bet. The appellant knew of the mistake, but refused to return the winnings. He now appealed against his conviction for theft. He said that the chairman had been wrong to say that at the moment the money had been paid over it had not belonged to him. He offered the view that whereas it would clearly be wrong to keep such an overpayment if made by the grocer, bookmakers were fair game.
Held: The appeal failed. The Deputy Chairman, having referred to this evidence, and to evidence that the Defendant had not hurried away from the betting shop after receiving this large sum, said, ‘Well, it is a matter for you to consider, Members of the Jury, but try and place yourselves in that man’s position at that time and answer the question whether in your view he thought he was acting honestly or dishonestly.’ In our view that was in the circumstances of this case a proper and sufficient direction on the matter of dishonesty. On the face of it the Appellant’s conduct was dishonest: the only possible basis on which the jury could find that the prosecution had not established dishonesty would be if they thought it possible that the Appellant did have the belief which he claimed to have.

Cairns, Stephenson LJJ, Willis J
[1972] 1 WLR 1341, 136 JP 777, [1972] 3 All ER 280, [1972] EWCA Crim 2, (1972) 6 Cr App Rep 734
Theft Act 1968 1
England and Wales
CitedMorgan v Ashcroft CA 1937
A gift may be recovered where it was made under the mistaken belief that the donee is someone else. The mistake must be as to a fact which, if true, would create a liability to pay .
Scott LJ said of the Kerrison case that ‘it was definitely . .
CitedMoynes v Cooper 1956
A workman received a paypacket containing andpound;7 more than was due to him but did not become aware of the overpayment till he opened the envelope some time later. He then kept the andpound;7.
Held: Where the accused received property . .

Cited by:
CitedIvey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd (T/A Crockfords) SC 25-Oct-2017
The claimant gambler sought payment of his winnings. The casino said that he had operated a system called edge-sorting to achieve the winnings, and that this was a form of cheating so as to excuse their payment. The system exploited tiny variances . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.249928