Criminal Law in Solomon Islands
Table Of Contents
When interpreting any section of the Penal Code (Ch. 26), section 3 must be considered. That section states:
'This Code shall be interpreted in accordance with the Interpretation and General Provisions Act and the principles of legal interpretation obtaining in England, and expressions used in it shall be presumed, so far as is consistent with their context, and except as may be otherwise expressly provided, to be used with the meaning attaching to them in English criminal law and shall be construed in accordance therewith.' (emphasis added)
In that regard reference should be made to the Larceny Act 1916 (UK).
'[Name of Defendant] at [Place] on [Date] by a false pretence to wit [specify the false pretence] with intent to defraud did
· obtain from a person namely [specify the name of this person] [a sum of money to wit (specify the amount of money) or a (chattel or valuable security) to wit a [specify the (chattel or valuable security)]; or
· [cause or procure] [a sum of money to wit (specify the amount of money) to be paid or a (chattel or valuable security) to wit a [specify the (chattel or valuable security)] to be delivered to [(himself/herself) or a person namely (specify the name of this person)] [for the (use or benefit) or on account] of [(himself/herself) or a person namely (specify the name of this person)].'
Section 120 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Ch. 7) states (in part):
'The following provisions shall apply to all charges and information and, notwithstanding any rule of law or practice, a charge or information shall, subject to the provisions of this Code, not be open to objection in respect of its form or contents if it is framed in accordance with the provisions of this Code –
(c)(i) the description of property in a charge or information shall be in ordinary language, and such as to indicate with reasonable clearness the property referred to, and, if the property is so described, it shall not be necessary (except when required for the purpose of describing an offence depending on any special ownership of property or special value of property) to name the person to whom the property belongs or the value of the property;
(iv) coin and bank notes may be described as money; and any allegation as to money, so far as regards the description of the property, shall be sustained by proof of any amount of coin or of any bank or currency note (although the particular species of coin of which such amount was composed or the particular nature of the bank or currency note, shall not be provided); and in cases of stealing, embezzling and defrauding by false pretences, by proof that the accused person dishonestly appropriated or obtained any coin or any bank or currency note, or any portion of the value thereof, although such coin or bank or currency note may have been delivered to him in order that some part of the value thereof should be returned to the party delivering the same or to any other person and such part shall have been returned accordingly;' (emphasis added) [words in brackets added]
In Toritelia v R  SILR 4 White P stated at page 12:
'[T]he question of fact to be determined on all the relevant evidence is whether the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused did prejudice or take the risk of prejudicing another's right, knowing that he had no right to do so. Throughout the cases the statement of proof of that knowledge is commonly described as proving the accused's "dishonesty".'
The term 'Obtain' is not defined in the Penal Code (Ch. 26) or the Interpretation & General Provisions Act (Ch. 85).
The term 'Chattel' is not defined in the Penal Code (Ch. 26) or the Interpretation & General Provisions Act (Ch. 85).
The jurisdiction of the Courts in respect of the offence of 'False Pretences' is examined commencing on page 14.
The law relating to 'Sentencing' in respect of that offence is examined commencing on page 918.
[27.14] Compared To Larceny
In R v Caslin (1960) 44 CrAppR 47 [ 1 AllER 246;  1 WLR 59] Lord Parker CJ, delivering the judgment of the Court, stated at page 53:
'The first question which arises is whether she was properly charged with larceny by a trick or whether this was a case of obtaining money by false pretences. The distinction between the two is a very fine one and, […] the distinction is often largely academic. The authorities on subject are numerous, and the result in each case must depend upon the exact facts and the true inferences to be drawn therefrom. The guiding test in each case is whether the person whose money is obtained meant to part with the property in the money, in which case it would, if the representation was false and as to an existing fact be false pretences, or whether he meant only to part with possession, in which case, whether the false representation was to an existing fact or as to the future, it would be a case of larceny by trick.'
Simply the distinction between the offences of 'Larceny' and 'False Pretences' is that in respect of the offence of 'Larceny' the complainant loses possession, but not ownership; whereas in respect of the offence of 'False Pretences' the complainant loses both possession and ownership. As a consequence of a 'fraud' the owner of the property gives the defendant ownership of the property in question by consent.
The offence of 'Larceny' is examined commencing on page 460.
See also: Tom Amaiu v The State  PNGLR 576 at page 580.
The following offences are related to the offence of 'False Pretences' as provided for in the Penal Code (Ch. 26):
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