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Last Updated: Friday, 25 February, 2005, 15:06 GMT
10k trial clears 1 lager theft
Richard Wilbraham
Richard Wilbraham exercised his right to a trial with a jury
A tourist has been cleared of stealing a 1 can of lager from a Carmarthen supermarket after a 10,000 trial at Swansea Crown Court.

Judge John Diehl ordered the Crown Prosecution Service to appear before him to explain why they insisted on prosecuting Richard Wilbraham.

A jury found the 35-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent not guilty.

The trial involved two barristers, an 18 strong jury panel, judge, solicitor, dock officer, clerk and tape logger.

Judge Diehl, the Recorder of Swansea, asked the CPS if it realised crown court trials cost 10,000 a day but the CPS insisted on contesting Mr Wilbraham's not guilty plea.

CPS barrister Sean Devine said his instructions were to continue with the prosecution.

Mr Wilbraham, a cyclist, had been detained by a store detective at the Co-op in King Street, Carmarthen, while on holiday in west Wales.

He was seen to park his cycle at the entrance, pick up a can of lager and return to his bike to retrieve his money from underneath the saddle.

He was charged with stealing the can.

But Mr Wilbraham, a care assistant, told the court he was in full racing clothing at the time and had forgotten that he had left his money on his bike.

He had elected for trial before a jury, as was his right.

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