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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Kensit court case collapses
Patsy Kensit
Kensit: Hearing had been delayed twice before
A case against two men accused of stealing pictures of a semi-naked Patsy Kensit has been thrown out of court after the actress failed to turn up to the hearing.

Kensit, 33, who is currently shooting a movie in Canada, refused to interrupt filming to travel for the London hearing.

The judge refused to adjourn the case, which had been postponed twice before, and said he was forced to find the two defendants not guilty.

As is stated in the Magna Carta, justice delayed is justice denied

Judge Martyn Zeidman, QC
Michael Sulkin, 39, of north London, and Howard Kayman, 34, of north west London, had been accused of stealing three photographs from the home Kensit shared with former husband and rock star Liam Gallagher.

"The case involves a very serious allegation. The stealing of photographs of a private nature would result in a prison sentence," Judge Martyn Zeidman, QC, said.

"However at this stage this is merely an allegation. I'm not prepared to grant any further adjournment as it would be unfair for the defendants to have to wait any longer to have the opportunity to clear their names.

It is not the sort of job, I understand, where you can leave in the middle of filming

Sandy Canavan
"As is stated in the Magna Carta, justice delayed is justice denied."

The original delay was because of Kensit's film commitments, and the second because the detective in the case failed to turn up at court because he was on holiday.

Prosecutor Sandy Canavan said she found out on Friday that Kensit would not return from Canada.

"It is not the sort of job, I understand, where you can leave in the middle of filming because the costs involved are significant.

Michael Sulkin
Sulkin: Had denied the charges
"She is very willing to come to court, she simply can't come to court today."

But Judge Zeidman said: "It is not the case that she can't attend, but that she has made a decision not to return."

Sulkin and Kayman were trying to sell Kensit and Gallagher's house while working for estate agents Aston Chase in St John's Wood, north London, at the time Kensit alleged they took the photos.

Their solicitor, Jeffrey Lewis, said the pair have always denied the charges and left the court "without a stain on their character".

Howard Kayman
Kayman: Said to be "pleased" at the verdict
"Naturally they are pleased with the outcome for themselves and their families and they now just wish to get on with their lives," he said.

The men said they found the photographs near a rubbish bin in the street, according to Charles Conway, defending Sulkin.

"From the very beginning Miss Kensit has alleged that the defendants stole three very small, scrunched up pictures," he told the court.

He said the defendants "genuinely believed they had been abandoned" and that they were not of a lurid nature.

Kensit is currently in Canada filming Darkness Falling alongside Jason Priestley.

The judge ordered the prosecution to pay costs, although he did not disclose how much they would have to pay.

See also:

24 Sep 00 | Entertainment
All over for Liam and Patsy
24 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Bug forces Kensit out of film
14 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Baby joy for Liam and Patsy
15 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Liam and Patsy's rocky ride
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