Taylor, Regina v: SC 3 Feb 2016

No Liability Extension on Taking Without Consent

Appeal by leave of the Court of Appeal on a point of law arising in the course of the trial of the appellant for aggravated vehicle taking, contrary to section 12A of the Theft Act 1968. The defendant had taken a vehicle without the owner’s consent, was over the blood alcohol limit and was uninsured. He was involved in an accident where the other party died. It was accepted however that he had not been at fault as regards the accident.
Held: The defendant’s appeal was allowed. The Court was unable and disinclined to depart from Hughes: ‘The Crown’s argument effectively invites the court to treat the section as imposing strict liability for the aggravating factors which differentiate this offence from the basic offence under section 12, in circumstances where that course is neither necessary nor warranted by the language of the Act.’
Lord Sumption said: ‘it is one thing for the legislature to make a person who has taken a car without authority responsible for the fault of another person who drives it in his presence. It is another thing altogether to make him responsible for personal injury or damage which could not have been prevented, because it occurred without fault or was entirely the fault of the victim. That would be a sufficiently remarkable extension of the scope of the strict liability to require clear language, such as the draftsman has actually employed to impose liability on a taker who is not the driver. There is no such language in section 12A.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lord Toulson
[2016] UKSC 5, [2016] Crim LR 366, [2016] 4 All ER 617, [2016] 1 WLR 50, [2016] WLR(D) 53, [2016] RTR 28, UKSC 2014/0157
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
Theft Act 1968 12A
England and Wales
Appeal fromTaylor, Regina v CACD 9-Apr-2014
. .
CitedHughes, Regina v SC 31-Jul-2013
Uninsured Driver Not Guilty of Causing Death
The appellant though an uninsured driver, was driving without fault when another vehicle veered across the road. The other driver died from his injuries, and the appellant convicted of causing his death whilst uninsured. At trial he succeeded in . .
CitedRegina v Marsh CACD 19-Jul-1996
Damage caused after the taking of a car need not be at the fault of the driver defendant for the offence of aggravated vehicle taking to have been committed by him. The sole requirement of the subsection was that the driving of the vehicle should . .
CitedWilliams, Regina v CACD 2-Nov-2010
The offence of causing death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured, is committed if the driver is unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured and if the driving is a cause of death in the sense that it was ‘more than negligible or de . .
CitedFowler v Padget 8-Feb-1798
Mens Rea essential to crime
In order to constitute an act of bankruptcy by a trader in departing from his dwelling-house, it is not alone sufficient that a creditor should be thereby delayed, but the departure must also have been with that intent. The word ‘or’ in the statute . .
CitedRegina v Tolson CCR 11-May-1889
Honest and Reasonable mistake – No Bigamy
The defendant appealed against her conviction for bigamy, saying that she had acted in a mistaken belief.
Held: A man commits bigamy if he goes through a marriage ceremony while his wife is alive, even though he honestly and reasonably . .
CitedSweet v Parsley HL 23-Jan-1969
Mens Rea essential element of statutory Offence
The appellant had been convicted under the Act 1965 of having been concerned in the management of premises used for smoking cannabis. This was a farmhouse which she visited infrequently. The prosecutor had conceded that she was unaware that the . .

Cited by:
CitedLane and Another, Regina v SC 11-Jul-2018
The defendants were to be tried for allegedly sending funds abroad to support terrorism. The court now considered the meaning of the phrase ‘reasonable cause to suspect’ in the context of the anticipated use of the funds: ‘Does it mean that the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 07 January 2022; Ref: scu.559505