A Kingston jury acquitted a nineteen-year-old student of entering Mitcham Islamic Centre as a burglar in less than twenty minutes.
They may have been influenced by evidence from the members of the Mosque when, in cross-examination, they admitted, a drop in donations could not be explained by the presence of the intruder.
What was particularly concerning was the failure to provide police with other than a brief exert from CCTV footage when the defendant claimed in his interview under caution, he was admitted onto the premises by a member of the community for a wholly innocent purpose.
Despite this there was no attempt to review the CCTV, not least because it was soon overwritten and lost, denying the defendant the opportunity to try to support his case with independent evidence.
Had he been afforded the opportunity he may have been able to avoid nearly 12 months of worry and the taxpayer avoid the cost of a crown court trial.
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