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R v Small [1987] Crim LR 777 Court of Appeal

The appellant took a car which he believed had been abandoned. It had been left in the same place for two weeks with the keys in the ignition. His conviction for theft was quashed as he believed the owner could not be found. There is no requirement that the defendant's belief is reasonable so it was immaterial that a reasonable person would have known to contact the DVLA to discover the owner.
 
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