�15 theft could end up in crown court

A MAN accused of a �15 theft could face a crown court trial before a judge and jury.

A MAN accused of a �15 theft could face a crown court trial before a judge and jury.

Dainius Garmus, of Brookshall Road, Ipswich, elected for trial when he pleaded not guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to stealing three British Heart Foundation charity bags.

While stressing the 35-year-old had every right to do so, District Judge David Cooper said it might cost the public purse as much as �20,000.

He added: “It will cost a king’s ransom, but that’s part of our Rolls Royce (justice) system.”

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Judge Cooper asked for more details about the case from prosecutor Lesla Small. However, much of the informa-tion given to the court about the allegations can not be printed for legal reasons.

Judge Cooper also consulted Garmus’ solicitor Dino Barricella to see if there was anything which could be done to avoid the matter was committed to crown court.

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However, Judge Cooper concluded Garmus was perfectly entitled to seek trial by jury if he so wished.

Garmus, who listened to proceedings through a Lithuanian interpreter, is accused of stealing the bags on February 11.

He alleged to have taken three British Heart Foundation bags belonging to a couple living in Valley Road, Ipswich.

They are said to have left them outside their home for a charity collection.

The court heard the bags contained items such as old clothes and videos.

Garmus was released on unconditional bail following the hearing.

He must return to South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on April 16 when his case is scheduled to be committed to Ipswich Crown Court.

<n> A second man is currently on police bail after also being arrested on suspicion of theft relating to the same allegation. He is due to return to Ipswich police station on April 1 pending further inquiries.

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