R v O’Leary (Michael)
Court of Appeal
Citations: (1986) 82 Cr App R 341.
The defendant broke into a dwelling unarmed to steal. While he was in the house he picked up a knife from the kitchen, before moving upstairs and encountering the residents. There was a struggle before the defendant was able to make out with cash and some jewellery.
The defendant was charged with aggravated burglary. Burglary is aggravated if at the time of the burglary the defendant has with him an offensive weapon. The defendant appealed his conviction, arguing that he should only have been convicted of simple burglary. This was because he was not armed when he entered the building.
- Can a burglary be aggravated where the defendant only arms themselves once within the building?
The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction. It was only necessary to show that the defendant was armed at the time he stole something. Since the defendant was armed when he stole the cash and jewellery, he was properly convicted of aggravated burglary.
This Case is Authority For…
For aggravated burglary, it is necessary to prove that the defendant was armed at the time he stole something. It does not matter that he was not armed when he entered the building.