CPS apologises to school for collapse of iPad theft case and launches probe

The Ham & High is reporting that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has apologised to a headteacher after blunders led to the collapse of a case concerning the theft of £4,600 worth of iPads at a Hampstead primary school.

Yesterday, a trial took place into allegations that a school employee had stolen 14 Apple tablet computers from Fitzjohn’s Primary School in Fitzjohn’s Avenue…

After laborious efforts were made by the police and headteacher Rob Earrey to build a case, charges were brought against Henrique Coceicao – a 22-year-old Portuguese national living in Hampden Road, Hornsey, and a cleaner at the school at the time.

Mr Coceicao had pleaded not guilty on March 30 and a trial was earmarked to take place yesterday.

But a catastrophic lapse in communication at the CPS meant their prosecuting lawyer did not realise – in the middle of the trial – that key witness Mr Earrey was not available to give evidence because he was holidaying in Sri Lanka.

As a result, no evidence was brought against Mr Coceicao and the judge delivered a verdict of not guilty…

Mr Earrey, while on his holiday in Sri Lanka, told the Ham&High: “I am angry that my time and police time has been wasted and that this case has collapsed.

“Apparently the CPS will be writing to the school to apologise for their failure to communicate and their failure to share evidence in this case. I await their response with interest…”

More at: CPS apologises to Hampstead school for collapse of iPad theft case and launches probe

 

As if fighting crime against schools isn’t hard enough already…

 

 

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