Aggravated Burglary

Aggravated burglary means a burglary where there may have been a weapon, damage, vandalism or violence involved or an occupant may have been at home, suffered harm or trauma, or may have been targeted because they were vulnerable.

You may be caught up in a ‘joint enterprise’ if you were thought by the police to have been acting as a ‘look-out.’

A burglary with an aggravating feature is not taken lightly by the courts and can carry a long term of imprisonment; this is a charge that can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.

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Graham Kinchin - BSc (Hons) Law

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Graham Kinchin - BSc (Hons) Law - Director

Aggravated Burglary

Under Section 10 of the Theft Act 1968 an individual will be convicted of aggravated burglary if they commit any burglary and at the time have with them any firearm, imitation firearm, any weapon of offence, or any explosives.

What is meant by a firearm or imitation firearm?
A firearm will include an air gun or air pistol, and an imitation firearm will mean anything which has the appearance of being a firearm.

Does an imitation firearm have to be capable of being discharged?
In the eyes of the law it is irrelevant as to whether it is capable of being discharged or not. The only consideration is whether it has the appearance of being a firearm.

What is meant by any weapon of offence?
Weapon of offence means any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to or incapacitating a person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use.

What is meant by any explosives?
Explosive means any article manufactured for the purposes of producing an effect by explosion or intended by the person having it with him for that purpose.

How the law is applied

The offence of burglary is created by section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 which now reads:

(1) A person is guilty of burglary if—

  • (a) he or she enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or
  • (b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

(2) The offences referred to in subsection (1)

  • (a) above are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, of inflicting on any person therein any grievous bodily harm … therein, and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein.

(3) A person guilty of burglary shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding—

  • (a) where the offence was committed in respect of a building or part of a building which is a dwelling, fourteen years;
  • (b) in any other case, ten years.

(4) References in subsections (1) and (2) above to a building, and the reference in subsection (3) above to a building which is a dwelling, shall apply also to an inhabited vehicle or vessel, and shall apply to any such vehicle or vessel at times when the person having a habitation in it is not there as well as at times when he is.

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