Meanwhile, moving from fiction to fact ...
There's something troubling about the story covered by one of the local newspapers under, Relief for detective Julie Hays as theft charges dropped.
The story explains,
"A WOMAN detective accused of stealing clothes and shoes which were due to be destroyed walked free from court yesterday after the prosecution formally withdrew charges.
Ms Hays, a 39-year-old detective constable with Northumbria Police, was due to stand trial next month accused of stealing two pairs of shoes and two jackets on July 21 last year.
In March when Ms Hays appeared in the dock, the CPS insisted on proceeding with the case despite judge Christopher Prince repeatedly questioning their barrister as to whether it was “in the public interest”.
The jackets and shoes, believed to have been evidence from a murder investigation, were due to be burnt, Judge Prince was told at a case management hearing.
Paul Newcombe, for the prosecution at that hearing, argued that the items in question were valued at £1,200.
The judge retorted: “That is ridiculous.
“Their value is zero, that is why they were going in the bin.”"
The CPS shouldn't have caved into the Judge. The Judge was wrong in his assessment of the value of the items; this is determined by the market, not by him.
Further, we were denied the facts of the case whilst Detective Hays was denied the opportunity to clear her name. I don't know whether or not the abduction illustrated by the picture at the head of this post is close to what happened but this sort of thing will be going through the minds of many people who read this tale.
Sad day for all with regard to justice which was neither done nor seen to be done.
Update 4th May 2011 Allegations of this sort of appropriation has appeared again, "Gun police suspended over photograph"
"Eight members of a police force's elite gun crime unit have been suspended for "inappropriate behaviour".
The officers, part of Merseyside Police's Matrix Disruption Unit, are facing a misconduct investigation by their force's professional standards department.
There are also allegations that items seized during search operations later appeared on the internet auction site eBay."
Update 1st June 2011. The BBC asks, Who, What, Why: Is taking rubbish illegal? explaining,
"A woman has admitted handling stolen goods after being accused of taking potato waffles, pies, and 100 packets of ham from a bin outside of a Tesco Express in Essex. But if something is thrown away, when is it illegal to take it?The article gives more details and other examples from case law.
Sacha Hall, 22, denied a charge of theft, which was left to lie on file, over taking the items said to be worth a total of £215, which the grocery store had discarded after a power cut had spoiled large amounts of food.
Hall said dozens of people had taken food from the Tesco bins but that she had only received a bag, mainly containing ham, brought to her flat by a friend."