Thursday, June 2, 2011

Publicity gets to bloody-minded W.A. cops

POLICE have dropped stealing charges against a young SES volunteer for taking a $1 fork after The Sunday Times publicised the case.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan spokeswoman said today that as a result of a review into the case: "WA Police has determined that it would not be in the public interest to proceed with the stealing charge against  B**. "The case will be discontinued. "The decision was based on the wishes of the complainant, the circumstances of the alleged theft and Mr B**’s antecedents". ["Antecedents"??? Do they mean "Because he is a wog"? He has no criminal record]

The review was sparked by inquiries and a story by The Sunday Times last week, which revealed that the advertising student could have his life marred by a criminal record for taking the $1 fork from a restaurant table as a prank.

Mr B**, 19, an SES volunteer and former soldier, who has no criminal record, grabbed the fork from a table outside a Northbridge restaurant to poke a friend while enjoying a Saturday night out in October last year and was to return it after the joke. He said he put the utensil down on the table about "three seconds" after picking it up when police approached him.

Police initially gave him a move-on order and a "talking to" which he thought was "fair enough". But then he later received a summons for a stealing charge for a fork valued by police at "$1.00" in their statement of material facts.

Mr B** said today he was relived that the charge had been dropped and he could now "put 100 per cent into focusing on my studies". "I want to thank my lawyer John H** and my family for their support and The Sunday Times for publicising the situation," he said. "I also want to thank the police for reviewing the situation and dropping the charges."

His father Gary B** said he was "happy that common sense had prevailed". "I'd like to thank the Assistant Commissioner (Gary Budge) for investigating and I'm glad that the matter has been properly dealt with," he said.

Mr H** also thanked police for using "common sense" when reviewing the case.


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