AN Iranian asylum-seeker accused of shoplifting has been spared a trial after the judge queried why she had not been offered a caution for the alleged offence.
Mother-of-two Fatemeh Farahani had chosen jury trial after appearing before Huddersfield magistrates, accused of stealing sweets, milk and croissants from a Tesco store last October.
But when the case came before Bradford Crown Court yesterday Judge Peter Benson said he was surprised that at a time when it was not proceeding with more serious allegations in other cases, the Crown Prosecution Service had not chosen the option of a caution, rather than holding a trial that was likely to last a day and a half.
Defence counsel Neil Clark said there was doubt about whether a caution would have the same effect as a conviction on his client's position as an asylum-seeker.
The case was stood down for about 30 minutes for enquiries to be made and when the parties returned to court prosecutor Heather Weir formally offered no evidence.
Farahani, 46, of Savile Street, Milnsbridge, was then bound over in the sum of £50 for 12 months.