TV debt theft case dismissed

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A Sutton man accused of theft after he sold on a TV and speaker which he was paying for under a credit agreement had his case dismissed after the prosecution witness did not attend court.

Dale Alan Goucher of Berry Avenue Kirkby appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty to theft.

It was alleged that between 20th August and 12th September 2014 he stole a television and speaker of a value unknown belonging to Mansfield hire purchase company Perfect Home.

The prosecution told magistrates that a prosecution witness for the firm due to attend that afternoon had spoken to the Crown Prosecution Service and offered no evidence.

Defending Simon King of Elliott Mathers, said Mr Goucher had missed a day of his holiday to attend court.

From day one there had been no evidence provided of indication of title to show whether the television and speaker belonged to Mr Goucher or the company, he told the court.

Mr King said: “I’m a bit concerned that a professional witness doesn’t come to court.

“I think it perhaps says a lot that the Crown are using criminal courts in circumstances like this.”

When the case was opened at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 18th March the court heard the TV was to be paid for in instalments totalling £4,000 and a sound bar totalling £1,600 at a rate of £20 per week.

The defendant had lost his job and had sold the items on and made no more payments, the court heard..

He said that Mr Goucher was under the impression that the goods belonged to himself, and not the company.

At the opening Mr King said: “While that is wrong, that is a civil matter. The police are not there to chase debts for a private company.

“It is not the first time that the company has used this court for bad debts. It is not a proper use of the police.”

Formally dismissing the case on Wednesday, the lead magistrate said: “I hope you enjoy your holiday. I am sorry that you are actually here today.”

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