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Larceny by a Clerk or Servant

Larceny by a clerk or servant is an offence under section 156 of the Crimes Act 1900, Which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You took and carried away the property
  2. The property belonged to another
  3. You did not have the owner’s consent, and
  4. You were a clerk or servant of the owner

The prosecution will also need to prove that at the time of the taking:

  1. You intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property, and
  2. Your actions were dishonest.

You must be found not guilty if the prosecution is unable to prove each of those matters

Section 155 of the Act defines a clerk or servant as: ‘Any person employed for any purpose regardless of the position’s duration’

Examples of larceny by clerk or servant may include:

  1. Taking money from your employer’s cash register
  2. Taking computers, stationery or other items owned by your employer, or
  3. Taking stock from your employer’s premises

A defence to the charge is having a ‘claim of right’ over the property, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to it.

Duress and necessity are also defences to the charge

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