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Old 17 September 2013, 18:16   #21
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Seems straight forward
rarely are matters of law straight forward - if they were lawyers wouldn't earn so much and the courts wouldn't really be needed as we could just pop down the pub and agree the obvious solution!

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They can also make a statement that the other land owner acquired it by means unknown and has effectively sold or disposed of stolen property. He is then liable to prosecution for handling stolen goods and/or possibly, aiding and abetting, councilling and procuring of a criminal act. Or something like that I can't remember all the exact words.
I doubt it. The offence of handling stolen goods requires knowledge or believe that the goods are stolen.

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His defence does not seem to stand upto the scrutiny of a reasonable person which is the way in which county courts look at these things.
I suspect you've made the all-too-common mistake of assuming that 'you' are a reasonable person and all other hypothetical reasonable people would agree with you.

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If the goods cannot be recovered from the buyer then the seller is bound to make restitution to your parents.
I refer you to my opening remark in this post. I don't think it is as clear cut as you suggest.
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Old 17 September 2013, 18:24   #22
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Unfortunately, I can't see the authorities wanting to spend any time on what may not be an open & shut case with clear evidence, and the time & hassle may not be worth the stress.

I think you & your parents need to evaluate the value of the trolley and the cost , worth & likelihood of a "successful" resolution. It might be easier / cheaper to move on.......but it's not my trolley
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Old 17 September 2013, 18:43   #23
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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
rarely are matters of law straight forward - if they were lawyers wouldn't earn so much and the courts wouldn't really be needed as we could just pop down the pub and agree the obvious solution!

I doubt it. The offence of handling stolen goods requires knowledge or believe that the goods are stolen.
A
My comments are based on experiences similar to the OP's, a bicycle was found in a persons garden the property owner left it for a while propped up against his wall in plain site for a couple of weeks then sold it on as his property. The original owner spotted the bike later and complained to the police it had been stolen and could prove ownership. The police said it was unreasonable for the land owner and now vender to believe it was his property and that ignorance is not innocence. Stealing by finding although a common terrn also has some merit.

I suspect you've made the all-too-common mistake of assuming that 'you' are a reasonable person and all other hypothetical reasonable people would agree with you.
A
I didn't purport to be the reasonable person in either case, just an observer. It was said that the finder/landowner should have presumed the goods were someone else's property and that they should have taken reasonable steps to find the true owner, such as inform the police. The fact that he had merely left the bike in plane site and asked an odd neirbour or two was not considered to be sufficient by a reasonable person.


I refer you to my opening remark in this post. I don't think it is as clear cut as you suggest.
What is clear cut is that property has been stolen and a third party has claimed it for himself with out exercising due diligence.
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Old 17 September 2013, 18:51   #24
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Another similar event was when my diving knife and gloves were stolen from my washing line after a dive. I didn't report the theft but the culprit used the knife to commit a crime then sold the knife to a young lad who was caught in possesion.

The ruling their was that I was chastised for not reporting a crime, the lad who used it in the crime was locked up and the knife was confiscated from the lad who bought it and returned to me as rightful owner.
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Old 17 September 2013, 19:26   #25
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My parents keep a launching trolley hidden out of sight (in dense hydrangeas) and chained to a stake. It gets used twice a year. When they came to use it today it was missing.

Rumours suggest a launching trolley had been on some hard-standing along the road with 'please remove' written in washed-out biro on a soggy piece of A4 attached to the trolley.

Yes, it was their launching trolley but after a few weeks the owner of the hard standing sold it at a car boot sale (for naff-all). It obviously wasn't stolen by him (more like someone 'borrowed it' but one scrappy bit of paper doesn't seem a 'reasonable' attempt to track down the owner.

He knew it wasn't his and effectively deprived the owner of its use by selling it without making 'reasonable' efforts to do so - any ideas where my parents stand?

Even if they had spotted its absence earlier and reported it to the Police, the other party hadn't reported it, so 2 and 2 wouldn't have added up...

Blimey, I'd love to hear where your newly-elected Police Commissioner places the search for 'missing' boat launching trolleys in their list of local policing priorities, especially ones stored without the landowner's permission and subsequently removed, allegedly, from overgrown bushes on said land by persons unknown?

You even state, and I quote: 'Rumours suggest a launching trolley had been seen, etc, etc'. No-one seems willing or able to state categorically however that it was the 'missing' trailer.

Where I live, local plod has their hands full solving crime where abundant hard evidence is in plentiful supply.

The neighbourhood of the missing trailer sounds like a place where a pair of knickers stolen from a washing line at no. 34 Acacia Avenue would make front page headlines in the local paper, so maybe you'd be better off contacting the Editor and running the tale past them?

Who knows, armed with a full description of the trailer, relevant locations, 'suspects', witnesses, a timeline of events, etc. perhaps their crack investigative journo team could quickly turn something up?
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Old 17 September 2013, 19:50   #26
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I can't believe we're nearly on the 4th page and no one's mentioned revenge
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Old 18 September 2013, 01:08   #27
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Who knows, armed with a full description of the trailer, relevant locations, 'suspects', witnesses, a timeline of events, etc. perhaps their crack investigative journo team could quickly turn something up?
I think that the Police Helicopter should be used at least once.

The Police do really care. We (and others) recently had a tyre knifed. After reporting this we got a very nice letter from Victim Support offering us help and, some weeks later, another letter assuring us it was being looked into.
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Old 18 September 2013, 01:13   #28
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Hugh, your parents may be wiser than you.
Yes (its not difficult!). And you are right.
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Old 18 September 2013, 03:53   #29
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I doubt it. The offence of handling stolen goods requires knowledge or believe that the goods are stolen.
Be very careful making comments like that, especially on a forum, it is very easy to deny any knowledge, if you don't know the origin of something that comes into your possession and you then sell it you'd not have much of a let to stand on.
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Old 18 September 2013, 04:03   #30
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My comments are based on experiences similar to the OP's, a bicycle was found in a persons garden the property owner left it for a while propped up against his wall in plain site for a couple of weeks then sold it on as his property. The original owner spotted the bike later and complained to the police it had been stolen and could prove ownership. The police said it was unreasonable for the land owner and now vender to believe it was his property and that ignorance is not innocence. Stealing by finding although a common terrn also has some merit.
The police investigate crime not decide matters of law - so did this go to court? or was a pragmatic solution found by the local police? I'd be surprised if the CPS felt there was sufficient evidence for a handling stolen goods case, in the public interest with a realistic prospect of conviction and even more surprised if they got a conviction which is what you suggested earlier. The facts of the case may also be slightly different. It would be unusual for a homeowner to find a bike abandoned in the curtilage of their property, and if it was unsecured and cast aside over a garden hedge rather than "neatly placed" in a publicly accessible area, then I can certainly see that the logical conclusion would be it is stolen. With hard standing near to a beach or slipway the same conclusion may not be valid if some leaves a trailer there for a short period; the most likely conclusion is the legit owner has left it there temporarily.

As usual the facts of the case would be much clearer once all sides have stated their position. Demonstrating the mens rea for Theft (by finding) or Handling Stolen Goods may not be as easy as you think.

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What is clear cut alleged is that property has been stolen
and a third party has claimed it for himself with out exercising due diligence.
I've fixed that for you.
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