Larceny (stealing or theft) is a criminal offence under the section 117 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), which states:
Whosoever commits larceny, or any indictable offence by this Act made punishable like larceny, shall, except in the cases hereinafter otherwise provided for, be liable to imprisonment for five years.

The Elements of Larceny

To establish a case of larceny, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Standard of proof

In criminal proceedings, all the elements of an offence must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution.
The Courts have held that the expression “proved beyond reasonable doubt” mean exactly what they say – proof beyond reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof known to the law. The test in a criminal case is not whether the accused is probably guilty. In a criminal case the prosecution must prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. A suspicion, even a strong suspicion, that the accused may be guilty is not enough. Further a decision that the accused has probably committed the offence also falls short of what is required to prove an offence beyond reasonable doubt.


Defences available to an accused person facing a larceny (stealing or theft) charge may include: