The Potential Criminal Liability For Blackmail Essay

1408 Words Nov 9th, 2016 6 Pages
This scenario involves two parties, David and Theresa, in which Theresa is a potential Defendant. She is to be advised regarding two legal issues: whether she has a potential criminal liability for blackmail by threatening David into giving her the money she believes she is owed, and whether Theresa has a potential criminal liability for theft by taking the letter from David’s home.

With regards to the issue of potential criminal liability for blackmail by threatening David when demanding the money that she believed she was owed, the relevant statutory law is Section 21 of the Theft Act 1968, which states that the criminal offence of blackmail consists of making an unwarranted demand with menaces, which is the actus reus, with a view to making a gain or causing a loss, which is the mens rea. Proving that a defendant is guilty of said offence calls for the fulfilment of these requirements. As stipulated under S.21(1) of the Theft Act 1968, a demand is deemed unwarranted unless (a) the individual had reasonable grounds for making the demand, and (b) That the use of menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand.
Addressing (a), the phrase ‘reasonable grounds’ leaves room for elaboration, and can be held to mean the morally-centred justification of a ‘reasonable person’ for behaving a certain way. So, was Theresa’s demand reasonable? Based on this understanding, Theresa’s demand for £25, 000 to ‘get back at’ David and recoup part of the money she believed she was owed,…

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