Carrier’s Case Law and Legal Definition

Carrier’s case was a monumental 1473 English case that extended the offence of theft to include a carrier of goods, initially in lawful possession, for converting goods to his own use. The Carrier’s case was a precedent-setting case. The offence of theft was then called larceny. This case involved a person (defendant) who was hired to carry bales to Southampton. The defendant took the bales for his own use. He was arrested and charged with larceny, a felony, a case which had substantial punishment in those days. Some argued that since the carrier had lawful possession, there had been no trespass, so he could not have committed larceny. However, the other side argued that from the moment that the intent was formed and carried out to convert the bales to his own use, the defendant was guilty.