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Advertising a Reward question???


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Hi all,


I was wondering if any one could offer a bit of advice on a question regarding Advertising a Reward Ive just encountered on the Blackstones Q&A site.


The question is


CRUCKSHANK is the victim of a burglary. A number of old photographs were stolen during the offence, to which CRUCKSHANK attaches deep emotional value. CRUCKSHANK is desperate to have the photographs returned and, believing that the burglar is a local resident, he persuades ZANDER, the owner of a local newsagent shop, to place an advert in the front of the shop asking for the photographs to be returned. The advert promises that CRUCKSHANK will ask no questions about the burglary as long as the photographs are returned.

Considering the offence of advertising a reward (contrary to s. 23 of the Theft Act 1968), which of the below statements is correct?

< method=get =exam_question>

A Only CRUCKSHANK commits the offence.

B Only ZANDER commits the offence.

C CRUCKSHANK and ZANDER commit the offence

D The offence is not committed as no financial reward was offered for the return of the photographs.



Answer C — This offence can be committed by the person advertising (CRUCKSHANK) and also the person who prints or publishes the advertisement (ZANDER). This makes answers A and B incorrect. The fact that no financial reward was offered is immaterial. If the advertisement uses words to the effect that no questions will be asked, the offence is committed.

Crime, para. 1.12.12

I answered D which was obviously wrong because I thought a reward of some kind had to be offered for the offence to be complete, and in fact Tom Barrons audio crammers mention this as the last thing on the lesson.


I appreciate that it may not necessarily have to be a FINANCIAL reward and therefore would have got the question wrong on that front anyway, but surely some kind of reward would have to be offered or is the "asking no questions" bit considered the reward??? I find this unlikely though as the legislation states that its an offence for a public reward..... to use words to the effect that no q's will be asked, etc. So surely the offering of a reward should be a seperate part to the asking no q's.


Ok, Ive gone on a bit but Id really appreciate anyones input.
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I'm with you CBP, I thought there had to be a financial reward.  If there's no reward, surely you're not advertising a reward?  But Blackstones is the definitive text, I'd go with what it says.

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I always believed that the reward was in the offering not to ask any questions. However, my knowledge is now nearly 11 years out of date.

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23 Advertising rewards for return of goods stolen or lost


any public advertisement of a reward for the return of any goods which

have been stolen or lost uses any words to the effect that no questions

will be asked, or that the person producing the goods will be safe from

apprehension or inquiry, or that any money paid for the purchase of the

goods or advanced by way of loan on them will be repaid, the person

advertising the reward and any person who prints or publishes the

advertisement shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not

exceeding [F1level 3 on the standard scale.]

I think the key word in the legislation is the use of the word OR which covers all bases...

It is a bit confusing tho as it starts off with the words advertisement of a reward....

canadianloafer2010-02-25 19:35:14

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Thanks all, I appreciate the comments.

I see what youre all getting at, that the reward itself is one of the three specified statements, either stating that no q's will be asked OR they will be safe from prosecution OR that the money paid will be repaid and therefore no other gain need be advertised for the offence to be complete.


A little ambiguous to say the least but thats the law for you I guess, or maybe its just me!


Ive been studying for months and only found out about the case law of R v Lee today, so that was a 9(1)(a) question I got wrong in the mock test!!!


I mean seriously, there's 13 days to go until the exam and I cant even get a Burglary question right.... IM DOOMED! Shocked


Thanks for the help though, folks.
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Sorry, I meant R v Jones and Smith not Lee....


Blimey, no wonder Im getting it wrong, I cant even get my case law right!
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I think the issue here is the use of the word 'reward.'  It does not have to be a tangible reward, but can be help to escape prosecution.  'If you return my stolen property I will not tell the police, and you will not be arrested' That is quite a good reward, just for giving me back something I already own.   


If you look at this legislation in that light the question on Blackstone's is correct.


The Trainer
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  • 2 weeks later...
Can I suggest you revise more traffic?

Good tip. There was a few on this section.

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