Crime CLXII-Criminal Damage II
The cases of Hall v Richardson (1889) and Roper v Knott (1898), though the facts occurred decades before the passing of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, can be cited as examples of damage that could be done to property.
In Hall v Richardson (1889) it was held that a milkman who damages his employer’s milk by adding water to it, with no intention of injuring the employer in anyway (though it could be argued that adding water to milk would injure that employer’s business and cause the employer to incur financial damage) but with the intention to make a profit for himself is guilty under s.52 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861.
In Roper v Knott (1898), the defendant a milkman was watched by his employer and a policeman following complaints with regards to the quality of the milk that was being delivered. The defendant was caught adding water to the milk that was being delivered and he was charged under s.52 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861.
The defendant was convicted under the said act for maliciously and willfully damaging the milk with intention of making a profit for himself. The term “maliciously and willfully” denotes that the defendant knew what he was doing but despite that continued to act in the manner that he did.
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