3rd Dec, 2016

Man jailed for Stratford town centre Costa tip jar theft

Stratford Editorial 15th Nov, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A THIEF who stole tips from a mug on a Stratford coffee shop counter has been jailed.

Michael William Pierce, of Evesham Place, pleaded not guilty to stealing the tip mug in Costa’s Bridge Street store when he appeared at Leamington Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how Pierce had entered the coffee shop on Bridge Street around 5pm on September 27.

On CCTV footage played to the court, he was seen standing alongside another man at the till.

But as the cashier’s back is turned, the mug containing the tips is pushed towards the edge of the counter before eventually disappearing from shot.

And although she said he had not been responsible for taking the mug from the counter, prosecutor Priya Bakshi argued Pierce had helped the other man conceal it before leaving the shop.

In a statement to police, the store manager claimed around £40 to £50 had been taken.

But while Pierce admitted it was him shown in the CCTV footage, he claimed he was there waiting to speak to one of the members of staff.

Pierce denied seeing the theft and any involvement in it and also maintained he did not know the other man at the counter, who his defence argued had been completely responsible for taking the mug.

But having watched the CCTV footage of the incident, magistrates found the 30-year-old guilty – jailing him for eight weeks.

Pierce was also found guilty of fraud by false representation in a separate hearing, but a third charge of receiving stolen goods was dismissed by the court due to insufficient evidence.

He was given an additional eight week jail sentence for the fraud charge, which will be served alongside his current sentence for theft.