R. v. T.
Our client was charged with theft under $5,000 for allegedly shoplifting from a grocery store. There were only two witnesses for the Crown, the assistant manager and the owner of the store. The owner testified that he saw our client put merchandise in a black bag. He testified that he saw our client get in the express checkout lane, leave the line and go back into the store, and then proceed to leave without purchasing anything. The assistant manager was informed about the situation, yet did not see our client put anything in her bag. He stopped her at the front of the store where our client said that she had nothing on her and tried to leave. Instead of letting her leave the assistant manager chased our client and tackled her to the ground where she was held until police arrived.
Customer’s change their minds about making purchases all of the time for a variety of reasons. To prove that someone was shoplifting the Crown must show that the person took something with the intention of depriving the true owner of it. Therefore, it is not a crime to pick up merchandise a store and put it back on a shelf before leaving the store.
Under cross-examination the owner agreed that the black bag was too big to be a purse and was more like a cloth grocery bag. He agreed that not everyone uses grocery carts and that customers sometimes bring their own bags to shop. The owner further agreed that he looked into our client’s bag after she had been tackled to the ground and saw that there was no merchandise in it. He testified that he found all of the merchandise he saw her take inside the store.
After cross-examination of the Crown witnesses, Crown counsel decided to withdraw the charges against our client as there was no reasonable prospect of conviction. It was clear to the Crown and to the court that no theft had been committed as there was no merchandise that left the grocery store.
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Note: Past successes do not guarantee future successes
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Here, I post various success stories I have obtained for my clients in court.