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to think convicting this woman of theft is really harsh?

(84 Posts)
IsabelleSE19 Wed 01-Mar-17 13:36:02

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-39119990

It seems like a real waste of police/court time to bring this case – surely a warning would have sufficed?

I've lost £20 before but would never think of going to the police station to ask if it's been handed in. Equally I've found £20 on a path and kept it (I was so broke that it was like a gift from heaven!). I've also left £40 in a cashpoint which was then taken, but I think that's different as the person potentially taking it could hand it in to the bank and they could check who was using the cashpoint before.

SaudadeObama Wed 01-Mar-17 13:39:26

It depends on the scenario. £20 in the gutter or on an empty street, you have no idea who it belongs to. Not theft. £20 falls out of the pocket of the person in front of you in a shop, you pick it up and pocket it. Theft.

IamFriedSpam Wed 01-Mar-17 13:41:06

Wow that is really harsh. (Unless it was obvious who it belonged to - e.g. you saw someone drop it or it was left in a cash machine so the bank could trace it). I would certainly had in large sums of money but I wouldn't have thought most people would go to the police if they'd lost £20!

troodiedoo Wed 01-Mar-17 13:41:21

Nah I think it's fair dos. Police asked her if she took the money and she lied and said no.

SaudadeObama Wed 01-Mar-17 13:41:31

The bank scenario is different too, if you find money in a cash machine, that's theft because it belongs to either the person in front of you or the bank. Either way, not you.

SaudadeObama Wed 01-Mar-17 13:45:05

I think the fact that it happened in a shop and that there was cc tv footage that helped convict her suggests that she saw who dropped it and knew who it belonged to. The person who dropped it could have realised before they left the shop. It's not a simple case of her just finding money.

Lochan Wed 01-Mar-17 13:48:01

I think that perhaps a caution might have been the way to go, but presumably there are other details on reported here that led to a prosecution.

It does rather underline the point, often much disputed on MN, that stealing is stealing in the eyes of the law regardless of the amount.

HarmlessChap Wed 01-Mar-17 13:48:28

If you found £20 on the floor of a house you were visiting and pocketed it then it would be theft.

In the same way everything in the shop belongs to, or is the responsibility of, the shop owner (unless you have bought it), if you find something which is not yours in a shop you hand it to the shop keeper to deal with, you do not take it home.

IsabelleSE19 Wed 01-Mar-17 13:50:14

Oh right, I only knew the details in the BBC report - didn't know she'd lied to police about it. Definitely if you saw who dropped it it's not okay to keep it.

Just giving myself an unofficial criminal record because I kept £20 once, but there was nobody around at all so I had no idea where it had come from. Also thought if I gave it in at a police station they'd be a bit hmm

sopsmum Wed 01-Mar-17 14:02:31

I lost £40 in a shop once, straight after getting out of cash point inside the corner shop. Completely vanished by the time I got to the till minutes later . They checked their cctv but apparently no sign. Wish I had reported to the police now.

HerBluebiro Wed 01-Mar-17 14:06:36

If you found a hundred quid would you keep it?

If you found 20p?

Someone's wallet?

If you found a mobile phone?

We all have a personal cut off. But legally they are all the same. If it is too much effort to hand it in to a proper person (eg shop manager) then do not pick it up.

The biggie is 'do not lie to the police' they do not like it!

troodiedoo Wed 01-Mar-17 14:11:02

I once dropped 40 pounds in asda and the night cleaner handed it in. I will be forever grateful as that was my weekly food budget and would have been hard up without it.

IamFriedSpam Wed 01-Mar-17 14:12:39

HerBluebiro I think it's not so much a cut off in terms of value but the likelihood of it being returned to it's owner. When I was 15 my friend lost £240 cash on the train (he'd saved a year) and it was handed in. That amount of money I'd definitely hand in because someone will almost definitely go looking for it. £10 in a gutter has zero chance of being returned to it's owner so I wouldn't bother. I agree though if it was in a shop I'd hand it in as they have CCTV which they might use to find out who it belonged to and I certainly wouldn't lie to police about it.

Fiona170972 Wed 01-Mar-17 14:14:28

I think this is very harsh, I feel really sorry for her. Especially when she's left with a record. People get away with a lot worse.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 01-Mar-17 14:15:32

The moral of this story is if you find any money at all make sure you take it to a police station and waste police man hours filing the paperwork for lost/found property.

If they roll their eyes, point out this case to them.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 01-Mar-17 14:18:09

Oh come on. How many people wouldn't do that. I'm not going to pretend I wouldn't.
Its obviously entirely different if you see someone drop the money, but if youre walking down the street and see a £20 note staring up at you. Then very few people would hand it in to the police. Also how would they find out who it belonged to.
Its highly unfair. She's actually being punished for something that she's not the first and most certainly will not be the last to do.

Fiona170972 Wed 01-Mar-17 14:18:20

I know this is a bit weird and off the subject, but my sister lost a ten pound note at the cash machine. She hunted everywhere, then retraced her steps, she went back to the cash machine and there was 2 five pound notes lying there. How bizarre!! We still talk about it after all these years.

FannyWisdom Wed 01-Mar-17 14:18:38

No.
It's not harsh.

It doesn't matter how much or how little it was.

She Knew it wasn't hers.

The basics need sticking to or the lot crumbles.
Just because others do worse it doesn't change what she did.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 01-Mar-17 14:20:14

Have they got nothing better to worry about ie Murders Rapes burglaries ect ect

Trifleorbust Wed 01-Mar-17 14:20:57

She was convicted of theft, not lying hmm

I don't think finding something with no obvious owner and keeping it is theft.

pigsDOfly Wed 01-Mar-17 14:23:25

From the report I read on my FB news feed she already had a record for theft Fiona

FannyWisdom Wed 01-Mar-17 14:25:22

Just in case you do find cash.

Some police areas can report the find online.
If someone claims or reports the loss they can then contact you.

EmeraldScorn Wed 01-Mar-17 14:25:27

The cops refer to the person who lost the £20 as a "victim"; A victim of their own stupidity perhaps because no one coerces someone into losing their own property.

The money was initially lost by whomever, that doesn't equate to theft or to the owner being a bloody victim. I've dropped money before but I've never tried to blame anyone else for my mistake and I've always hoped that whoever found it needed it more than I did, that way some good would come from me having been a careless eejit.

I often find pound coins by the trolley stand in Tesco's but I've never felt it necessary to try and trace the rightful owner(s) and I found £10 once a long time ago which I kept and more recently I found a fiver at the side of the pavement in my street but I didn't go door to door to see who owned it - I kept it, what a morally bankrupt individual I am, Jesus wept!

I think it's appalling that this woman was brought to court over something so ridiculous but that pretty much sums up the absurdity of the British system, it's an absolute shambles!

intheknickersoftime Wed 01-Mar-17 14:26:26

I went to a self service till after Asda recently and the guy in front of me left without taking his £10 cash back. He was clearly in a hurry and I chased after him and returned it. I could have easily kept it. He didn't thank me but the point was it was his money, he earnt it, not me and I knew it was his. I think this case is a similar example which is why she's been dealt with so harshly.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 01-Mar-17 14:26:28

No it's not harsh, theft by finding is still theft

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