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Taxpayer Funds £20,000 Court Case To Prosecute Man For Stealing 25p Banana... And He Is Found Not Guilty

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...na--guilty.html

A man prosecuted for stealing a 25p banana has been cleared after a trial which cost the taxpayer £20,000.

James Gallagher, 23, was accused of stealing the fruit from the Del Villagio restaurant in Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre.

But a jury at Birmingham Crown Court jurors took less than half an hour to find him not guilty of burglary and a lesser charge of theft.

Speaking after the verdict was delivered, Mr Gallagher said: 'It's shocking, it's just a waste of taxpayers' money. I cannot understand how they've got away with it.'

Recorder Mr Shamim Qureshi told the jury before they delivered their verdict: 'It is easy sometimes to think "What is this case doing at the crown court?"

'Today is day two - this theoretically has cost £20,000.

'Our criminal legal system in this country is second to none when compared to many other legal systems around the world, it enables the person to come to the crown court and say I want to be tried by my peers.

'The allegation is one which is burglary and that is always a serious allegation no matter what is alleged to have been stolen in the burglary itself.

'It is fairly easy to make lots of jokes, but do remember it is a serious allegation that the defendant faces.'

Mr Gallagher, who lives in Handsworth, Birmingham, said he was relieved and had chosen a crown court trial because he expected magistrates would have found him guilty.

Mr Gallagher was charged with burglary contrary to the Theft Act.

He was accused of entering the Italian restaurant with Christopher Ogelsby, 22, at 8.45am on March 13 when its deli was not due to open until 10am, and stole a banana.

The jury heard that the shutters at Del Villagio were halfway up and after seeing a member of staff in the store, Mr Gallagher and Ogelsby went underneath them into the store and picked up bananas.

They were already being watched by security officers and were apprehended almost immediately before being arrested.

Ogelsby pleaded guilty to burglary at Birmingham Magistrates Court on March 14 and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

In Mr Gallagher's defence, Mr Niall Skinner told the court he and Ogelsby were tipsy after drinking until the early hours to celebrate Mr Gallagher's birthday two days before.

He said he had not been given the chance to pay for the goods, even though he had money on him, because the security team had acted and accused him so quickly.

Why not just give them a caution and order them to pay the cost of the banana rather than costing the taxpayer £20k, no doubt should jumped up little numpty loved getting this to court to teach people a lesson.

Yet more hard earned cash wasted on stupidity.

We need common sense policing, not this.

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There has to be more to the story then the good old Mail has listed :rolleyes: .

If it was heard at Crown Court then it has been pushed up past a Magistrates' Court because of the potential for a 6 month + prison sentence.

And it's the CPS that sanction charges; not police.

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And it's the CPS that sanction charges; not police.

What I mean is the police turning up and saying pay for the banana and here's a ticket for being drunk and disorderly. End of story.

Rather than the police turning up, arresting them, deciding that it's burgulary and then passing it onto the CPS for some prat there to deside this is worth wasting taxpayer cash on.

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You can't ticket on the street for D & D.

PNDs have to be given to people who are in a fit state. He may have refused details, etc. etc.

As I said, to be sent to Crown Court there has to be more to it. It wouldn't have even been submitted for charging consideration without there being far more than the snippets offered in that story.

The fact he received a 12 month suspended says plenty. Had it have been as repored it would have been discontinued long before getting to the 1st hearing.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

They should have split the joint quicker that sundae.

I reckon one of the security guards had been plantain false evidence.

Silly monkeys.

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They should have split the joint quicker that sundae.

I reckon one of the security guards had been plantain false evidence.

Silly monkeys.

They probably got arrested because of their yellow skin and they were bent coppers. Bit of a slip up by the police.

TOT - chimps open bananas from the other end to most humans, its actually easies if you wanna try

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They probably got arrested because of their yellow skin and they were bent coppers. Bit of a slip up by the police.

TOT - chimps open bananas from the other end to most humans, its actually easies if you wanna try

lol

Surely they should be encouraging the stealing of bananas on health grounds. If the thief is eating a banana that is good for his health, and he will live longer with less cost to the health service for heart disease due to eating fatty food etc etc

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