Obtaining services dishonestly under the Fraud Act 2006
Obtaining services dishonestly under the Fraud Act 2006

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Obtaining services dishonestly under the Fraud Act 2006
  • Obtaining services dishonestly
  • To obtain by act or by ommission?
  • What are services for the purposes of FrA 2006?
  • The mental element of dishonesty
  • Avoids or intends to avoid payment
  • Sentences for obtaining services under FrA 2006

Obtaining services dishonestly

It is an offence for a defendant to obtain, by any dishonest act, services for which payment is required, with intent to avoid payment for those services under the Fraud Act 2006 (FrA 2006). This offence replaces obtaining services by deception in the Theft Act 1968.

The elements of the offence are that the defendant:

  1. obtains for themselves or another

  2. services

  3. dishonestly

  4. knowing the services are made available on the basis that payment has been, or is being, or will be made for or in respect of them or that they might be, and

  5. avoids or intends to avoid payment in full or in part

The defendant must know that the services are made available on the basis that they are chargeable, or that they might be chargeable. Services which are offered for free would not be caught by this offence.

The offence of obtaining services dishonestly may be committed in circumstances that otherwise could be charged as an offence contrary to FrA 2006, s 1 or may be more connected to making off without payment, under section 3 of the Theft Act 1978 (TA 1978).

To obtain by act or by ommission?

The service must actually be obtained. It is not possible to commit the offence by omission alone. It can be committed only where the dishonest act was done with the intent not to

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