Robbery: Bank Robbery, Armed Robbery, Muggings
Robbery or armed robbery for instance; an offence punishable by life imprisonment is a far more serious offence than deception, although the facts of each case will more often than not determine the gravity. Robbery and theft are covered by the Theft Act 1968. Robbery occurs where a person forcefully removes without permission, something of value from another. The law requires that the victim must have been subjected to the threat or actual use of violence. In actual fact, owing to the violence involved, robbery is regarded by law as an offence of aggravated theft. Like theft and burglary, robbery is a dishonest offence. Although there is no statutory offence of aggravated robbery, cases of robbery are determined based on the merits of each case and the aggravating or mitigating factors present. The offence can also be categorised in terms of level of seriousness. For instance, although street mugging or bag snatching are classified as robbery, they occupy a different scale of seriousness when compared to bank robbery and/or armed robbery. Bank and armed robbery are obviously more serious than the robbery offence of street mugging.
Any allegation of robbery or a robbery charge is however a very serious one and expert legal opinion should be sought immediately. The seriousness of the offence can be weighed by looking at the sentence of armed robbery and sentence for conspiracy to commit robbery, which is a criminal offence on its own. Robbery is an indictable only offence and upon conviction, an offender may be facing a sentence as severe as life imprisonment. This is on account of the fact that victims of robbery are usually subjected to violence or threatened with firearms, weapons, the use of force and general violence.
Factors which may prove even more aggravating include whether or not the firearm used in the robbery operation was actually real, loaded or an imitation, the offender’s criminal record or lack thereof, use of the firearm or explosives, if the offender wore a disguise such a balaclava and whether or not injury was caused to the victim(s). The Court will also take into due consideration in imposing a prison sentence for robbery, if the offence was a professionally planned commercial robbery, a violent personal robbery in a residential dwelling or street robbery (also known as mugging).
Sentencing for Robbery
For the less serious robbery offences, the sentence is usually a 12 month community order for minors and a prison term between 1 and 3 years for adults, depending on the facts of the case. Street robbery sentence may therefore be as high as a custodial sentence. Sentencing for robbery with firearm either as a threat or where it was actually used to inflict injury on the victim is significantly higher than street mugging. Other robbery offences include conspiracy to rob and attempted robbery. Conspiracy to commit armed robbery sentence may be as high as life imprisonment. Even where the offender does not actually succeed in stealing the items or property in question but had intended to and set out to rob the owner, he or she is still chargeable under section 8 of the Theft Act 1968 for attempted robbery.
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