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Criminal Law (Damage to Property) - Essay Example

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According to the English Criminal Law, it is a punishable offence for a person to cause damage to property. The Criminal Damage Act 1971 provides for guidelines that would show that a person committed an offence related to property damage. This act defines property as anything that is tangible regardless of whether it is real or personal…
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Criminal Law (Damage to Property)
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Download file to see previous pages The Criminal Damage Act 1971 has three different types of criminal damage offences: simple criminal damage which is covered under section 1(1), aggravated criminal damage under section 1(2) and Criminal damage by arson under section 1(3) (Crown Prosecution Services, 2011). This Act does not define what damage is or what may be assumed to be damage under certain circumstances, which has led to courts construing the term freely. The Act also does not limit damage to large scale life threatening destruction of property, small acts like smearing mud in a police cell’s walls is also considered a criminal offence under this law. The maximum punishment for an aggravated and arson criminal damage is life imprisonment. All other offences covered under this act attract a maximum penalty of ten years.
Horace’s Liability
In the first case scenario, Horace knowingly tinkers with the shop’s lock so that it may temporarily refuse to open. He causes this damage with the intent of making it possible for his boss to attend the Tennis Finals at Wimbledon. However, Horace’s well intentioned act is not appreciated by his boss who would rather open his shop than attend the match. He (the owner) is forced to close shop the whole day since he cannot secure a new part for the lock. According to the law, what Horace has committed is a simple criminal damage....
He causes this damage with the intent of making it possible for his boss to attend the Tennis Finals at Wimbledon. However, Horace’s well intentioned act is not appreciated by his boss who would rather open his shop than attend the match. He (the owner) is forced to close shop the whole day since he cannot secure a new part for the lock. According to the law, what Horace has committed is a simple criminal damage. S.1(1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 states that an individual is guilty of a criminal damage offence if he or she recklessly or intentionally destroys or damages property that belongs to another without any lawful excuse. Horace causes temporary damage to the shop’s lock so that it can stay closed on the day of the tennis finals at Wimbledon. He has committed an offence by knowingly damaging property that dos not belong to him (Ashworth, 1991). However, Horace did believe that he was doing his boss a favour by tinkering with the padlock. His action may have a lawful excuse since he believed that his boss’s attending to the shop was just as important as attending the tennis finals at Wimbledon. Under section 5 part 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, a lawful excuse may exist if at the time of the damaging act the person accused of the offence “believed that the person or persons whom he believed to be entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in question had so consented, or would have so consented to it if he or they had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances” (Crown Prosecution Services, 2011). Part b of the same subsection allows for lawful excuse if the accused party caused damage or destruction to property so as to protect ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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