any person who is found in possession of any Goods, in regard to which there is reasonable suspicion that they have been stolen and is unable to give satisfactory account of such possession, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to the penalties which may be imposed on a conviction of theft.”
the elements of crime are : (a) the goods ; (b) must be found in possession; (c) there must be a reasonable suspicion that the goods have been stolen, and (d) the suspect must be unable to give a satisfactory explanation of the possession.
A property must be a property capable of being stolen.
2.Suspect must be found in possession.
suspect must have personal and direct control over over the goods.it is not sufficient that he exercises control through an agent.it will be an agent who is found in possession. the suspect must be furthermore be in possession at the moment that the goods are found by the police. he can not be held liable as a result that he possessed them previously, or that he merely falsely allege that he possessed them.
it is not necessary to prove that the suspect the goods with an intention to possess them as an owner.it is sufficient to that suspect possessed the goods on behalf of somebody else (possessio naturalis, not possessio civilis)
a person cannot possess something if he is unaware that he possess it.
3. Reasonable Suspicion.
there must be a reasonable suspicion that the goods have been stolen, this must happen the same time as goods are found in suspect’s possession.if the suspicion existed before the goods were found, it must still exist at the moment that the goods are found.
the suspicion must be a reasonable one. the ground for suspicion must must also exist at the moment that the goods are found.factors which may be important are: the nature and quantity of the goods, the place where they were found, whether they were still new. suspect’s status and financial standing and the suspects reaction when the goods were were found in his possession.
4.Inability to give satisfactory account.
the suspect must give an account of his possession at any time up to and including trial.the crime is completed only at the moment the trial court finds that he was unable to give a satisfactory account of his possession.