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Film Maker Dragged To Court For 'stealing' 0.003p Worth Of Electricity... At A Cost Of Over £5,000 To The Taxpayer

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12...0-taxpayer.html

A documentary film-maker was hauled into court on a charge of stealing electricity worth 0.003p.

But by the time the ludicrous case was dropped, the bill to taxpayers was more than £5,000.

Mark Guard, 44, had to appear at two separate hearings before the Crown Prosecution Service finally saw sense.

Mr Guard, who makes documentaries about crime and the homeless, was filming squatters entering a disused building through an open window at 10pm on August 1.

A security sensor inside detected the movement and the alarm was triggered.

The squatters fled but Mr Guard, a former electrician, decided to stay behind and turn off the alarm to save neighbouring families from the noise.

To do so he had to turn on the electricity in the building for a few seconds, to give him light, and then turn it off.

Nine police then arrived in response to the alarm. When Mr Guard told them what he had done, he was arrested and held in a cell for six hours before being charged.

At his first magistrates' court hearing last week, the film-maker pleaded not guilty and asked for the case to be tried at a crown court so a jury could decide.

He said last night: 'When I told the chairman of the bench I wanted a jury trial, he began to realise the ludicrous nature of the case. He said: "Why is this going to a trial in the crown court when it's going to cost £200,000?".'

But Mr Guard had to appear again in front of Highbury Magistrates in North London, before the charge was dropped.

Experts estimate that the court hearings cost taxpayers £4,200 - Mr Guard's legal bills were paid from public funds - a night in police cells added £385 and the arrest operation around £600.

The boys in blue doing the country a fine service again.

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:o £385!!!!!

What do they serve for breakfast in police cells? Truffles served on a bed of swan-meat with a side of caviar?

I'd better never get arrested and try to charge it on expenses: I'd be up before the company accountant and MD as well as the Beak.

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Guest UK Debt Slave
:o £385!!!!!

What do they serve for breakfast in police cells? Truffles served on a bed of swan-meat with a side of caviar?

I'd better never get arrested and try to charge it on expenses: I'd be up before the company accountant and MD as well as the Beak.

£385 for a night in a police cell!!!!!

:lol::lol::lol:

That is beyond belief isn't it?

You could stay in a really sw@nky hotel for that

Edited by UK Debt Slave

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable
The police 'acting on intelligence' again.

Reducing burglary target - *tick*

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£385 for a night in a police cell!!!!!

:lol::lol::lol:

That is beyond belief isn't it?

You could stay in a really sw@nky hotel for that

No doubt that's the daily cost of the cell being there.

It would have cost the same even if it were empty all night

tim

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This is nothing to do with the boys in blue.

This is the CPS's responsibility

tim

The CPS don't get involved unless the police hand them a file with a recommendation to prosecute.

There's fault all around. Heads should roll. :(

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The CPS don't get involved unless the police hand them a file with a recommendation to prosecute.

There's fault all around. Heads should roll. :(

they thought he was a squatter...deserve the book thrown at them for being outside the system.

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To be fair to the police....

A man is in a building that still has an active electricity supply (so how abandoned was it) and when they turn up it turns out he has disabled the alarm.

How were they to know he was an upstanding member of the community rather than some criminal expert in disabling alarm systems.....

If someone watched whilst his friends broke into my property, fiddled with my electricity and disabled my alarm I'd expect the police to take action.

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:o £385!!!!!

What do they serve for breakfast in police cells? Truffles served on a bed of swan-meat with a side of caviar?

I'd better never get arrested and try to charge it on expenses: I'd be up before the company accountant and MD as well as the Beak.

Burger King.

I used to see the Heddlu going into burger king for prisoner's meals (breakfast).

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To be fair to the police....

A man is in a building that still has an active electricity supply (so how abandoned was it) and when they turn up it turns out he has disabled the alarm.

How were they to know he was an upstanding member of the community rather than some criminal expert in disabling alarm systems.....

If someone watched whilst his friends broke into my property, fiddled with my electricity and disabled my alarm I'd expect the police to take action.

Which is why I said it was the CPS's fault.

They were the ones responsible for deciding on the specimen charge of stealing electricity because they couldn't prosecute for anything else

tim

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