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Criminal Law in Solomon Islands

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Chapter 58: Demanding Property with Menaces

Table Of Contents  






Wording Of Charge




Demand With Menaces Or By Force


Things Capable Of Being Stolen


 [58.5.1] Statutory Provision


 [58.5.2] Specific Rules




Related Offences




[58.0] Introduction 

This chapter will examine the offence of 'Demanding Property With Menaces', as provided for by section 295 of the Penal Code (Ch. 26). 

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) 

Whilst section 30 of the Larceny Act 1916 (UK) is the offence of 'Demanding Property With Menaces', it has the additional element of 'with intent to steal'.


[58.1] Offence 

Section 295 of the Penal Code (Ch. 26) states: 

'Any person who with menaces or by force demands of any person anything capable of being stolen is guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.'


[58.2] Wording Of Charge 

'[Name of Defendant] at [Place] on [Date] did [with menaces or by force] demand of a person namely [specify the name of this person] a thing capable of being stolen to wit a [specify the thing] the property of [the said person or a person namely (specify the name of this person)].'


[58.3] Elements 

A. Defendant 

B. Place 

C. Date 

D.        [i] With Menaces; or 

[ii] By Force


E. Complainant 

F. Thing Capable Of Being Stolen 

G. Property Of Complainant


[58.4] Demand With Menaces Or By Force 

In Treacy v Director of Public Prosecutions (1971) 55 CrAppR 113 [[1971] 2 WLR 112; [1971] 1 AllER 110; [1971] AC 537] Lord Morris commented at page 130: 

'The offence is committed […] if a person "makes any unwarranted demand with menaces". The act which is made an offence involves the making of a demand. How, then, does a person make a demand? He does so by communicating a request. He may do this by speaking to someone. He may do it in other ways. But the notion of making an unwarranted demand with menaces involves that the demand is made to or of someone who could comply with it and who could be influenced by the menaces that accompany the demand. The act of making the demand is not, in my view, committed until it is communicated to the person who is being unjustifiably menaced. There must be contact between the demander and the victim.' 

There is no such offence as 'Attempting To Demand With Menaces', see R v Moran (1952) 36 CrAppR 10.


[58.5] Things Capable Of Being Stolen


[58.5.1] Statutory Provision 

Section 257(1) of the Penal Code (Ch. 26) states: 

'Every inanimate thing which has value and is the property of any person, and if adhering to the realty then after severance therefrom, is capable of being stolen: 

Provided that, save as hereinafter expressly provided with respect to fixtures, growing things, and minerals as defined in the Mines and Minerals Act [Ch. 42], anything attached to or forming part of the realty is not capable of being stolen by the person who severs the same from the realty, unless after severance he has abandoned possession thereof.' (emphasis added) 

That section also outlines other 'things' capable of being stolen. 

See: Billing v Pill (1953) 37 CrAppR 174.


[58.5.2] Specific Rules 

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;' (emphasis added) 

[Therefore, provided the property in question has been described with as much detail as possible, it is not necessary to state the name of the owner of the property or its value, unless such details are required to prove a specific offence.]


(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]


[58.6] Sentencing 

The jurisdiction of the Courts in respect of the offence of 'Demanding Property With Menaces' is examined commencing on page 14

The law relating to 'Sentencing' in respect of that offence is examined commencing on page 918.


[58.7] Related Offences 

The following offences are related to the offence of 'Demanding Money With Menaces': 

·                     'Robbery', section 393 of the Penal Code (Ch. 26) which is examined commencing on page 602; and 

·                     'Assault With Intent To Rob', section 293(3) of the Penal Code (Ch. 26).


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