IN a trial which has cost taxpayers at least £6,000, a cashier has been cleared of stealing a £10 note from Cineworld in Solihull.
Ewan Fenton (23) of Percy Road, Sparkhill, had denied stealing the money from Cineworld in July last year. And after more than two-and-a-half hours on the second day of the trial, the jury at Warwick Crown Court found him not guilty.
Prosecutor Tom Schofield said Fenton had worked at Cineworld in the Touchwood Centre for about 16 months when managers noticed a discrepancy between money put through the tills and the amount of stock. Suspicion fell on Fenton and managers were able to identify transactions he had carried out from his code on the till and compare them with CCTV coverage at the same times.
It was alleged that on the 24th of July he had a customer who had asked for drinks and some popcorn. It was claimed that Fenton had purported to enter the £10 payment into the till but had not done so and kept the note in his hand.
Although he did not have the money in his hand when he walked away from the till, it was alleged he later returned and took it from below the till. But the CCTV recording did not show him bending down to put the £10 note there at the time, it was conceded.
When he was challenged, and in court, Fenton accepted he had not put the £10 in the till, but denied he had been acting dishonestly and said he did not know what happened to the note.
After the jury had returned its not guilty verdict Judge Christopher Hodson asked how much the trial had cost. Mr Schofield said the prosecution costs were £3,000 and Theresa Hunt, for Fenton, said the defence, which had been on legal aid, would have cost ‘about the same.’