Entering a building, or part of a building, as a trespasser with intent to steal therein, or with intent to do unlawful damage, or, having entered a building, or part of a building, as a trespasser stole, or attempted to steal.


Section 9 (1) (a) and Section 9 (1) (b) of the Theft Act 1968
Maximum Penalty

Upon conviction in the Magistrates’ Court an offender can receive up to a maximum of a level 5 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment and in the Crown Court up to 10 years’ imprisonment can be imposed unless it is the offender’s third conviction for a similar offence in which case up to 14 years’ imprisonment can be imposed.

Things to Know

The offence can be dealt with in either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court. The magistrates will have to decide whether they think that the case is suitable for them to deal with otherwise they will decline jurisdiction and the matter will have to be dealt with in the Crown Court. If the magistrates accept jurisdiction to deal with the case then the Defendant can choose to take the Crown Court if he/she so wishes.

The burglary can take place if the intention to steal is there when the offender enters the property and even if no theft actually takes place.

Burglary can take place if there is no intention to steal but there is intention to cause criminal damage to items within the property or to the property itself.

Burglary can also take place if the person enters with the intent to inflict GBH on a person. Burglary can also be committed if the person enters the property with the intention to commit an offence of rape. In such circumstances the case can only be dealt with in the Crown Court.

Of course if a person enters the property and actually commits GBH or a rape then a GBH charge or a rape charge will be preferred to a burglary charge. The burglary charge only applies if the intention to commit that act is there but the act is not actually carried out.

The magistrates, when deciding whether the case can be dealt with in that Court or in the Crown Court, will consider the time of day, whether the occupier was present, whether there has been any particularly bad vandalism or ransacking of the property and whether the offence appears to have been carried out by a professional, the value of the property taken and other factors.

There is a difference between a burglary committed in a dwelling, where somebody lives and one committed in a property where there are no residents. A burglary committed in a person’s home will usually be considered more serious. A burglary in a pub may fall into both categories depending upon which part of the pub is accessed by the offender. If only the public areas are accessed then this would not be a dwelling house burglary but if the offender goes into the area behind the bar which is private and for residents of the pub only then it becomes a dwelling house burglary.