back to article Boss frogmarches bound employee to cop shop

An Essex boss who discovered one of his employees had stolen and cashed a company cheque frogmarched the miscreant to a police station with his hands tied behind his back and a sign round his neck reading "thief", the Times reports. Carpet fitter Mark Gilbert, 39, swiped the cheque from Witham-based In House Flooring, wrote it …


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  1. Simon Painter
    Thumb Down


    Is this another incidence of pretty much the same thing or is it just a really old story?

  2. sammi

    This was in September!

    Daily Fail link:

  3. Jamie

    Gotta love Britian

    People over here make fun of the Yanks for having half-assed laws like this.

    Someone commits a crime against you, and you get charged.

  4. Alex Walsh
    Thumb Down

    Insert Daily Mail outrage here

    Heaven forbid our coppers would actually do some proper detective work and arrest real criminals when they can arrest victims like this.

    Next: man arrested for bruising knuckles of thug with his face during mugging.

  5. John Prew

    False Imprisonment?

    Sounds like a creative Citizens arrest to me. Good on the boss for providing entertainment for people as he frogmarched the thief to the plods.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Wait until the compensation.....

    .... at a quick guess the thief is going to have head aches, guilt, traumour, humiliation, false imprisonment, lost sexual drive, nightmares....etc.

    This adds up to at least £10,000 compensation for stealing £845.

    Who says crime doesn't pay?

  7. Mark Powell
    Paris Hilton

    This is news?

    This happened ages ago. The news is that the boss got sentenced yesterday.

    Paris 'cos it's a dumb thing. :)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    There are some problems with your article

    • An IT angle is required

  9. Anonymous Coward


    what kind of an idiot try to takes the BOFH money?

  10. Ben Jury
    Thumb Down

    Hey Reg

    Its last months news calling, they're asking for their story back...

  11. Steve


    What's false about the imprisonement? Maybe he should be charged with justified imprisonment.

  12. Jim Coleman


    Since when is a citizen's arrest false imprisonment, exactly?

    This is another case of the robbers getting away with it while the victims end up in court.

    Feck this damn country.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Where is this chap defence fund?

    You call that journalism? What is the chap defence fund account number?

    I will gladly donate him 25 quid towards defending himself in court. So will a lot of other reg readers.

    False imprisonment my a**e, looks like a classic case of "cittizen's arrest" to me.

  14. Red Bren
    IT Angle


    How can it be false imprisonment if the perp is found guilty, based on evidence and a confession? Can he also claim wrongful dismissal?

    IT angle - Did they tie him up with cat5 cable or something?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Yeah? And...

    ...the IT angle to this story is....?

  16. Bill
    Paris Hilton

    It's political correctness gone mad!

    Next you'll be telling me I can't hang shoplifters!

    Paris cos she appreciates the well hung

  17. EvilJason
    Thumb Down

    Already seen this in the paper a while ago

    I have seen this in the paper a while ago and there are a few things that where left out of the summery.

    When the boss found the bounced check he did not know at the time that the employee had tried to steal anything he just suspected it, that he was proven right by the guy admitting it later but at the time it was just a suspicion.

    The boss got a few other employees to go with him when they tackled the guy and bound his hands behind his back and put a sign around his neck saying thief, not once did the boss even ask the employee did he steal anything he just jumped to conclusion.

    The boss and his other employees did not march the guy straight to the nearest police station he marched the guy with the sign around his neck all around town asking him stand in the center of town for a while before bringing him to the police station.

    They where all arrested on different charges.

    The boss was renting the place where they worked and was given a one months notice to get out by the landlord when he heard what the boss had done.

    The boss said later that he can now understand what he did wrong but he is unapologetic about what he did.

    Before anyone tries to defend the bosses right to do what he did remember he took it upon himself to be police,judge,juror,and executor of punishment of the law BEFORE any investigation either private or by the police was done.

    If the employee was innocent what the boss did was inexcusable BUT even if the employee was guilty that does not justify what the boss did.

    Imagine if everyone took the law into there own hands on crimes against them that they SUSSPECT happened.


  18. David

    Yep yep yep

    Do the good guys, i'm in full agreement, cant stand people stopping people from theiving truly disgusting state of affairs, lock em up and throw away the key.

    UK justice system is full of mugs

  19. Kev K

    Fair play to the boss

    More of this sort of thing - and less of the arresting people who stand up for themselves & their own belongings.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    no.. No.. NO.. N O!!!

    ... This runs in line with not talking back to the 'hoody' in fear that you'll get your collar felt by the Fuzz!

    FFs.. Ok, not sure about the violence and brandishing of tools, but you can make a citizens arrest and cuff a miscreant. Stop this fool-hardy abonishment of crime preventing citizens and through the book at the stupid prick who decided to nick a check...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What has happened to The Register?

    What has this got to do with IT and secondly this was news back in September. It's now almost December.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Well Done El reg and the Time for breaking news...

    shame your several months late!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    new shop policy

    Reminds me of a sign i seen on my holiday travels...

    All paying customers are welcome.

    All thieves will be shot, stabbed, beaten and burned.

    Sounds like a fair enough policy to me :)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    someone steals from you, and you end up in court, despite having shown the restraint to not crush their bollocks in a vice? whats this country coming to?

  25. Anonymous John

    charged with false imprisonment?

    He was taken to a police station. Sounds more like a citizen's arrest to me. of someone who had committed an arrestable offence.

    Complicated by making him wear a sign saying he was a thief admittedly.

    Mine's the one with the noose in the pocket.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can it be...

    false imprisonment if the guy admitted to the crime?

  27. Joe

    @ EvilJason

    You're not so evil you know. It's good to know that some of us still believe in the rule of law!

    Perhaps the rest of you would prefer life in Saudi Arabia?

  28. N


    Tough on crime & the causes of crime?

    Just another example of what a complete bunch of wankers are resident at No 10.

    Not for much longer hopefully, as someone rightfully said, One labour government per lifetime is more than enough for anyone.

  29. Tom


    "Before anyone tries to defend the bosses right to do what he did remember he took it upon himself to be police,judge,juror,and executor of punishment of the law BEFORE any investigation either private or by the police was done."

    It sounds to me like he only took it upon himself to be the Police - he just effectively arrested him and took him to the Police station, he didn't send him to court or to prison. People get arrested on suspicion of having done something all the time - if fact that's all they ever get arrested for, it's only suspicion until it has been proven in court! I agree that making an example of him around town was too much though, but seems like the lesser of 2 evils.

  30. Sir Runcible Spoon


    Thanks goodness I'm not the only insane person on here who thinks two wrongs don't make a right.

    This chap worked for him ,yes? So he knows his address, NI, Tax number, Car Reg probably. Not likely to skip the country for trying to nick £845 quid.

    Answer : Report to police, let them handle it, it's what we pay them for.

    Physical restraint has to be justified and proprtionate, even for the police. If you're a cashcow^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Citizen, then you have to be doubly sure.

    Not saying what the guy did was right, but tying him up and humiliating him wasn't exactly by the book was it?

    Oh, and where's IT angle? :P

  31. Keith T

    Member of Parliment who routinely makes citizens arrests?

    Doesn't Britain still have that Member of Parliment who routinely makes citizens arrests?

    I wonder what he'd have to say about this? "Citizens in uniform" treating honest citizens doing their duty as citizens like this.

    The only false imprisonement I see is what the police are doing, and sadly the law allows them to make false imprisionments with impunity.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like they were both wrong

    I hate thieves, but also don't much care for belligerent assholes that like to take the law into their own hands, especially for a non-violent crime. I think citizens arrest may be useful in some circumstances (eg. you spot someone being raped and by the time the police arrived, the crime would long be over), but also think that if "Dudley Doright" gets their head bashed in while trying to practice this sanctioned vigilantism on someone that sees the situation differently (like a petty theft suspect), that they should accept what they get. I don't much care for cops, but at least if someone is getting arrested by the police, they're being taken in by someone with training, and there's often a video record of the proceedings.

    Don't taze me bro...

  33. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Just punishment

    Foregoing the alleged violence, I believe that the boss should be perfectly within his rights to march a thief down to the cop shop like this. A little more public humiliation would go a long way. While "the system" may be geared towards the rights of the accused, I believe that it often goes too far to deprive rights from the accuser. In a number of cases to which I am directly familiar, an employee fired for theft was subsequently awarded unemployment benefits.

    So much gets to be swept under the rug that many repeat offenders get to hide their transgressions from the public view.

    When I was around five years old, I got caught enjoying the bounty of a recent trip to the local shop with my mother in which she shopped and I pilfered a pack of bubble gum. Upon being caught, I was marched right up to the store and forced to confess my crime to the store manager and apologize. Sure, I was embarrassed and in tears the entire time, but that is an experience which has stuck with me my entire life.

    Most criminals do not like to be outed, they like to get away with things, or at least feel they got away scott-free.

    Paris, confess your crime!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Rule One - don't compete with the Cops monopoly...

    The last thing they want is people compteting with them and showing them up.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I wonder if one of the bleeding heart organistions like Liberty will take up the bosses case and fight for his right to detain and apprehend a thief. Somehow I doubt it.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Serves them right

    Well the police have guaranteed that next time they won't go to the cop shop.

    They'll just duff the b*stard up and tip him into the nearest landfill site.

    So much for the caring police (did I just say that?)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Citizens arrests

    In England and Wales at least, are only permissible if the citizen catches someone *in the process of committing a crime*, or to a lesser degree to prevent a crime. Anything else is potentially false imprisonment.

    Also in England we have the premise of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. So making someone wear a sign saying thief before they have been convicted of said thievery in not really acceptable.

    As for all the support of vigilantism, has everyone else forgotten such gems as the victimisation of a paediatrician because the mob thought paediatrician was the same thing as a paedophile?

  38. EvilJason


    Funny thing was the guy was on 1000 quid per week wage as it said in the paper so that is why it was so odd that he was supposed to have stolen the 800 and odd on the cheque.

    The problem with this is not that he was held and marched to the police but that he was degraded by having a sign put around his neck proclaiming him a thief BEFORE he was found guilty.

    Also you can only citizens arrest someone if the crime carries a maximum sentence of over 2 years in prison other wise its illegal to hold someone against there will for a minor crime.

    All the boss had to do was call the police as the employee did not suspect a thing and was not likely to run before they got there, it seams the boss wanted to punish the guy himself then hand him over which is wrong as he is not authorised by the public to dispense justice.


    -I'm evil for a given value of evil - (for thoughts like remove all the "stupid" safety stickers from everything and let nature take its course)

  39. Zero Sum

    Boss stuffed up

    Aren't there pretty stringent restrictions on making a "citizen's arrest"? (Depending on jurisdiction.)

    I doubt that tying up a white collar criminal and publicly humiliating him would fall under the conditions necessary. Especially if he wasn't informed that he was under citizen's arrest. Don't know the details of the case, but it sounds like the boss screwed things up.

  40. david wilson


    >>"It sounds to me like he only took it upon himself to be the Police - he just effectively arrested him and took him to the Police station,"

    AFAIK, the police aren't allowed to march *suspects* through the street with signs round their necks, and citizens generally have less right to do things to people and get away with it than the police.

    Since it was deeply predictable that police would at least have to investigate any complaint from the suspect, it's clear that there was no way the manager was saving them work, but was, at best, wasting some of their time, and doing so in a way that had at least a possibility of reducing the punishment the suspect eventually received.

    I'd imagine one significant reason for the police frowning on actions such as this is that there's always a chance that some passing citizen decides to have a go at the suspect. With a more serious crime, it wouldn't be at all hard for a situation to get out of control, and that would all ultimately fall at the feet of the person who decided they'd rather go out of their way to not bother calling the police.

    One of the main reasons for having a justice system in the first place is to try and avoid people taking the law into their own hands, not least because the people most eager to do that are often the ones most likely to overdo it.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Innocent until proven guilty... a court of law?

    I'm all for the citizens arrest, but is it proper to label the accused as a thief before he's answered to the courts?

  42. yeah, right.


    Thanks for the additional information. Now the judgement makes more sense, as opposed to El Reg's attempt to foment discord and dissonance. That's the BOFH's job.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's worse ...

    Is there are two people here trying to defend the Police!!

    "it's too hard to catch and prosecute the bad guy, we'll go after Joe Public instead"

    Sure, if the guy was innocent then the boss is up s**t creek, however given the guy is admitting to the crime (oh, yes, let's remember theft is a crime!) how on earth can you say the boss was wrong?!

    It's not like he broke the guy's arms on the way to the Police station ?!

    (although I bet he was tempted ..)

    And (!) how come this guy admits to stealing 800 quid, then only gets a caution ???? It's hardly a deterrent .. if your chances (police stats) of catting caught for theft are 1 in 10, you could make a packet all for the price of a caution !!! Bloody ridiculous!!!

    The next chap who catches someone stealing must be thinking, "not worth turning him in, there's no penalty .. so what's the alternative .. ?"

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Police had no choice

    Greetings tabloid brigade.

    Before you get your self-righteous knickers in any more of a twist, try and consider what a court would have made of the case had they charged the thief.

    Of course the right thing to do would have been to charge and prosecute the bloke "wot done it". But by marching him through town, with his hands bound and a placard around his neck the business owner and hangers on managed to sabotage any chance of a fair hearing. The case would have been thrown right out of court, and you'd all be on here complaining about the waste of taxpayers' money in addition to a new round of 'what is the country coming to'.

    I do agree it's a bit much to charge the boss and the other assailants (as that's what they are). The fact that they've totally ruined the chance of getting a successful prosecution against the perpetrator should be punishment enough.

  45. Shane Lusby


    For every bloody comment about 'Wheres the IT angle, whine whine whine' READ THE CATAGORY. Its Bootnotes. If you're not familiar with the boot notes section, go take a look. Its anything amusing that the Reg guys and gals feel like publishing that doesn't have an IT angle. So the next time you're scanning the front page, if you can't stand articles without an IT angle, don't click on the ones that are labeled bootnotes. Or if you do, don't bloody whinge about it.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the problem is if you encourage this type of behaviour everyone will be using it to settle scores.

    Personally I would like to see the return of duels to settle a matter of honour, or cage fighting, but the law as it stands prevents people from doing this. Really police powers should also be severely curtailed as well.

    No theft occurred, just attempted, but assault did occur.

    Vigilantes, always remind me of the Devils of Loudon, easily moved into a witch hunt, and they often have huge planks in their eyes even before they go off and commit a greater crime in their faux hero antics.

  47. Martyn Breckenridge
    Paris Hilton

    We Demand...

    ...A Playmobil Reconstruction of the incident

    Paris, because someone stole her... </virginity>

  48. Mark

    re: Innocent until proven guilty...

    That's innocent UNLESS proven guilty.

    You are innocent.

    Unless there is proof of your guilt.

    ***NOT*** UNTIL.

  49. Mark
    Dead Vulture

    re: ridiculous

    That's OK, because the boss is only in jail for it, not being fried like the vigilante assasin the police know him to be.

    1) Frogmarching to police OK, but unnecessary. Hanging a "Thief" sign is humiliating and illegal. As illegal as stealing. Which, apparently gets you frogmarched to the police with "theif" sign on you or risk your nuts crushed.

    2) The police have solved TWO crimes. Goody for them.

    3) The government and the police don't want you to know that you have power because you may not turn to them for help.

  50. Mark

    re:new shop policy

    And if they sell me shoddy goods, rather than persue through the courts, I will shoot, bluidgeon or bury the shopkeeper.


  51. Thomas Baker

    Vigilante justice is the only answer.

    I've spent a lifetime seeing crims get away with pretty much everything due to recalcitrant plod or worse, lawyers. Very few people get arrested by real plod for anything more than a 'suspected' crime, so the whole,"He wasn't guilty yet" argument is moot. That's why people go to court dont-cha-know. The police don't try them although that does seem to be changing... So quit it with your "They didn't know for sure he was guilty and blah..." - that describes pretty much every arrest in Britain.

    As a few people above have pointed out: What will these guys do next time? They'll just beat the snot out of a caught crim. I've seen enough in my time to do the same now. I'm tempted to put a sign up on my house that says: "This house doesn't call the police." - because I know if I do call the police they won't come, not for anything, not for any crime, they can't be arsed. And even if they did come out, they'd find a way of punishing me more than the crim, or they'd let the crim off with some meaningless fine or community service, yet the next time an 80 year-old woman refuses to pay her Poll/Council Tax, they'll be 'round there in force, throwing her in jail. Or God forbid you watch some pr0n or don't pay your TV licence or horror of horrors...SPEED!

    If I encounter any kind of criminal in my life I will deck first, ask questions later. There's really no reason not to. What's the alternative? Go through normal channels and hope the police and the justice systems works!? If you believe that, then you must have been asleep for the last 20 years.

    It's also interesting in that this draws a parallel with that old biddy on the train platform a few months ago who had a go at a couple of blokes for smoking, a couple of times too. They ended up throwing her off the platfom onto the train tracks and she broke her wrist or something like that. It's odd how there was wide-spread condemnation of the 'thugs' and wide-spread support for the biddy. But really, that too is taking the law into your own hands. There are railway staff and police trained to deal with those situations, trained and authorised to enforce the 'vital' (cough) 'no smoking law' in our public places - then surely if the woman acted out on her own cognisance and confronted the men, she took the law into her own hands and thus must bear at least some of the responsibility for what happened next, i.e. getting hoiked off the paltform. They were only smoking ffs. Interesting to see what kind of porridge they're doing now though...for their crime: Smoking.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Just to clarify, I think Tony Martin should've been given a fucking medal for shooting that burglar and I think that as the police are generally absent nowadays in most crimes, there's very little choice but for the public to take the law into their own hands, and mistakes will happen but hey, least we won't shoot anyone dead in our zeal...hmm?

    You can't advocate the police and the justice system as "The Right Thing To Do" or "The Answer", when they can't be bothered to participate or, when they do, they capitulate on the side of the criminals, i.e. the thief who fell through a warehouse roof in Liverpool and got compensation for the roof being weak, bless him. You're naive in the extreme if you think that solves these kind of issues.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    @Shane Lusby

    So, what was that IT angle again?

  53. Sillyfellow
    Thumb Down

    what 'imprisonment'?

    a couple of things..

    1. what imprisonment?

    so far as i can tell this alleged thief was apprehended by a citizen and then taken pretty much directly to the police to press charges. so how long exactly did the boss 'imprison' the alleged thief for? days? hours? minutes?

    2. what was 'false' about the citizen's arrest?

    the thief admitted the crime, so there was nothing false about it.

    3. i could be mistaken, but i recall seeing a photo of the 'frogmarch' (when the story was new) and it looked to me like the thief had his hands tied in front and not behind (not that it really matters tho).

    4. the boss probably did this because he knew that if he just reported the crime, nothing would be done about it. at all. an officer would never have actually been assigned to the case. (they say they have more important things to attend to and lack of manpower.. etc etc).. i have reported a far bigger crime myself only to get that response from the police.

    ... so there you have it. clearly our so-called 'law' is rubbish and will side with the criminal (unless gvt want it otherwise of course). the police force are clearly not doing their job the way it should be done. so much for justice!!

    this occurred because the police want to warn people against any form of protecting themselves or their businesses (or families or homes). we clearly have no right to do this.

    didn't you know that in UK we have no actual real rights unless the law decides otherwise?

    what ever happened to what is morally correct? oh, i forgot. in the uk that is irrelevant.

    the only thing relevant is what the so-called law decides. to hell with what is actually right or wrong.

  54. n

    well done...i will do the same

    the boss took the best course of action.

    he at least got some justice.

    i worked somewhere in a similar situation.

    very small company, thief worked in finance dept!

    the employee was ordered by the court to pay back the couple of thousand at £10 per month or something ridiculous.

    He did pay for 6 months then stopped.

    When the court was asked why he stopped paying, they said he had been imprisoned for a few months on another offence. (They never bothered to tell us, his previous victim this though.)

    "So when will he start paying our money back again?" we asked.

    The court replied: "sorry, a prison sentence automatically wipes previous fines/repayments, he won't be paying you any money now."

    So, welcome to britain, steal money, plead poverty over the fine, get a couple of months bed + board + playstation at her majesties pleasure, hey presto, no more pesky fine to pay!

    to the idiots saying "this encourages vigilantes...". THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE JUSTICE SYSTEM. That fact alone encourages vigilantes more than anything.

  55. Svein Skogen

    It's all in the details

    What these men were arrested for, was the parading-through-the-city part. To give things an IT angle so you might understand:

    This is like the record companies tar-and-feather-parading mp3 downloaders through the city before handing them off to the police. Your uproar might be on the other side in that situation.


  56. Stef

    Executions in the workplace

    Why shouldn't any old manager be allowed to hog-tie and shame an employee suspected of thieving?

    Time was the thief would have been burned as a witch - and quite right too!

    These days of course a Loony Lefty council would give him an Arts Council grant for him to rape our innocent children's death mouths - whilst asylum seekers watched and laughed!

    The police are clearly part of leftist conspiracy to turn our once proud empire into a neo-Stalinist state - and that would make our dearly missed Lady Diana cry.

  57. david wilson

    @Thomas Baker

    >>"So quit it with your "They didn't know for sure he was guilty and blah..." - that describes pretty much every arrest in Britain."

    However, marching someone through the streets with a sign round their neck happens in hardly any arrest in Britain. That's the whole point of the case.

    >>"As a few people above have pointed out: What will these guys do next time? They'll just beat the snot out of a caught crim."

    Then they'd *really* be up shit creek, especially if the crime involved isn't violent or particularly serious.

    Where would *you* draw the line for a crime being large enough for a punishment beating that could easily result in disability or death?

    Employee sneaking £50 from the till?

    A bit of pilfering from the stationery cupboard?

    Would it matter if there was just a belief someone was guilty, rather than proof?

    The kind of person who'd happily beat the snot out of a nonviolent criminal seems likely to be the kind of person who'd be rather flexible when it comes to assessing necessary evidence.

    >>"And even if they did come out, they'd find a way of punishing me more than the crim,"

    Yeah - I've lost count of the times when someone calls 999 to report an intruder, and the police turn up and arrest the householder for doing nothing.

    It happens so often that the liberal media from the Telegraph right through to the Mail have all decided not to bother reporting it any more.

    Your platform analogy rather shows your level of thinking.

    If you really can't see the numerous clear dividing lines between asking someone not to smoke and kicking the shit out of someone, you're exactly the type of person who shouldn't try taking the law into your own hands.

  58. david wilson


    >>"the boss probably did this because he knew that if he just reported the crime, nothing would be done about it. at all. an officer would never have actually been assigned to the case."

    Even if he *suspected* that, there was still nothing to stop him at least trying the police. No imminent danger of violence. No urgency.

    Instead, he did something that was likely to make the police less interested in pursuing the original crime than they might otherwise have been.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easier in some parts of the world

    Things were much easier in old-days South Africa.

    I once apprehended a bloke who was stealing my car radio and called the cops. The cops told me in no uncertain terms that next time I should shoot. to kill. Much less paper work and the crim would be off the streets for good.

  60. Avian

    My word............

    wasn't this a great opportunity for the "hand 'em and flog 'em" brigade!

    I didn't realise the IT world had so many exponents of Sharia law..... have people heard of innocent until proven guilty and proportionality?

  61. Trix

    All the Mail readers are out today

    To the most recent "hang-em-high" commenter

    1. Restraining someone from going about freely, including using restraints, is "imprisonment". You don't need to be locked up in a place called a "prison" for it to be so.

    2. It's false because the alleged perpetrator had not been found guilty of a crime in a court of law. Quaint notion, that. Innocent till proven guilty, and all that tosh? Even if the thief admitted the crime before being convicted (not the case here), they still have not been *found guilty*. People admit crimes because they're nutters too, or duress (hm, being tied up is fun), but they're not guilty. That's why we have courts.

    3. No, it doesn't matter which way his hands were *tied*.

    4. The boss didn't report the crime, so how the hell does that give the police a chance to do their jobs? You can also sue people in the civil court for losses. You also get insurance payouts and the like if you report the crime, so doing so using the official channels is to your own benefit.

    As to what is "morally correct", in Saudi Arabia, it's morally correct to stone "adulterous" women to death, and to chop peoples' hands off for theft. Perhaps that would suit some here as well.

    And as has been observed above, but making such an exhibition of the supposed perpetrator, you just killed off any likelihood of that individual being tried fairly. No judge in the land would allow such a case to go forward.

  62. Joe Blogs
    Thumb Up

    Innocent until proven guilty

    ... the cheque bounced, what did the employer loose? Nothing.

    What should the police charge him with? Attempted theft?

    Wouldn't the appropriate action have been to just sack the guy and get on with running your business and making money... rather than wasting time marching some idiot down to the local plod for less than a grand?

    Justice shouldn't be served on the spot, fueled by emotion. Every person deserves the right to defend themselves in a court of law in a civilized manner... else whats to stop me from shooting you dead because i *think* your a low life crim that flogged my TV last week?

    Do we really want to go back to lynch mobs and witch burning?

    Now all that said, if you saw and old lady being mugged in the street, i think it would be morally and legally correct to punch the thief in the face and stand on the bastard till the plod arrive...

  63. Anonymous Coward

    If they like Iraq so much then why don't they go and live there?!

    Judging by the rabid frothing at the mouth, bad grammar and punctuation, we seem to have a load of Daily Mail readers in our midst!

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No, it's until.

    The point is that you are innocent at any time prior to being found guilty. The presumption here is that in absence of a guilty verdict you are innocent.

    Unless means, well, unless. Which would imply you are only innocent because you have not yet been found guilty.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    Call me pedantic but...

    ...if the cheque bounced then he didn't actually steal the £800 did he? All he stole was the cheque which was simply a (worthless) piece of paper.

  66. spezzer

    fuck em!

    one minute the fuzz want us to shop em next minute theyre arresting us - what a bunch of dozy tossers!

  67. david wilson


    >>"one minute the fuzz want us to shop em next minute theyre arresting us - what a bunch of dozy tossers!"

    That only happens if in that minute you choose to act like a vigilante.

    It does look like that the people most keen to jump to conclusions about what the police will or won't do are the people most keen to do something dumb to make their predictions come true.

    I suppose that's *one* way to end up being right, but it doesn't seem like the smartest way.

  68. James Hughes

    Norwich Nightclubs.

    Ok, its not related, but its a good story. Son of a friend was recently in a Norwich nightclub. One of his mates was assaulted in the club - headbutted three times, leaving a very messy nose. Attack was unprovoked. Went to front desk to complain they had been assaulted, desk called bouncers. Bouncer toss them all out on the street (The victims that it), called plod over, accused them of affray. Plod took them off to station where despite all their protestations, they were done for breach of peace, and fined £80 on the spot.

    The original assault, which resulted in bodily injury, was completely ignored.

    And people wonder why the police have a bad press.

  69. John Dougald McCallum

    Norwich Nightclubs

    Your friends son did not have to pay this on the spot fine he could have opted for Magistrates court as is the case with ALL On-the-Spot -Fines.

  70. David Parker
    Thumb Down

    Nothing Stolen

    If I attempt to rob a bank and am arrested/otherwise prevented from leaving with any money, am I off free because I didn't actually steal anything?

  71. jon

    IT angle??? <yawn>...

    If you just want IT, go to these IT sites...

    - and when you are bored with all the tech specs, HD reviews, PC reviews, cpu revi...zzzzzzzzzzzz...

    I think you will know why peeps come here!! :)

  72. jon

    @ James Hughes...

    the problem with the story is, who was the noisiest?? - I will bet it was your mates, and the club owner has a bigger profile with the police...

    - It would be VERY different, if after the assault, you did NOT go to the front desk, but straight to a policeman (first making sure you are SOBER and looking respectable!!), and report the club - the police would then treat your case with respect!

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    False Imprisonment...

    II think because the reaction was excessive. Just bring the guy to the police, or call the police to collect him. He'll still have to pay, maybe do some time, and you'll stay out of prison.

  74. jon

    The best way is softly, softly....

    If I was the boss of this company, and discovered his deeds... I would simply sue him for 'attempted embezzelment' :) - He would think he had escaped, until he gets it..

    - or if I wanted to vent my anger, I would just walk up to him and pass him the 'writ' innocently, and when he is holding it say 'you are served' to see his horrified expression!! :D

    (Hey correct my legal knowledge if it is more hollywood than reality! :) )

  75. Andus McCoatover
    IT Angle

    @new shop policy

    Sign I saw in Texas once.

    "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again"

    IT angle? See the recursive algorithm?...

  76. Cortland Richmond

    Irons Irony

    Perhaps he'll be paraded through the town centre in (ironically) irons, with a sign reading "BOSS!" around his neck.

  77. Mark


    Nope. UNLESS.

    I am accused of stealing your pen.

    I am not guilty of stealing it because I didn't.

    I'm not innocent until proven guilty. I'm innocent. Unless you have proof I'm guilty (which would be impossible if I haven't done it).

    "Until" says that I AM guilty but until it has been proven, you can't doe me for it.

    "Unless" says that I am NOT guilty unless you can prove I did.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    aka enraged smoker with massive chip on shoulder.

    You almost made sense until the smoking part. Get a grip. Can you just leave your pro-smoking grumblings elsewhere. Specifically when the little self-righteous rant makes NO SENSE AT ALL.

    She wasn't ''taking the law into her own hands'' she was at most being rude or having an argument, not even an argument, 'words' with someone. Pointing out the obvious.

    That is not illegal. It happens all the time. If I called someone an ***hole or a bad singer or laughed at their hair cut do you think it's fair or understandable for them to throw me under a train for it? It is not even legal to fight someone who jumps out and punches you, you have to try and escape the situation first or just take the blows and get them charged later.

    For you to even consider her partly to blame and not be outraged at the lunatic who violently attacked her physically over a verbal comment just shows how strong the addiction has a hold of you, or how brainless you are in general when you actually sympathise with what was nearly a cold blooded murderer over a bitchy? comment, based on the fact that he too was in your chip carrying, rebel wannabe, cancer inhaling, club.

    Sorry people, you can think it's funny and even good that he got humiliated, but you can't honestly excuse the bosses actions. It's not legal to tie someone up and force them to go anywhere.

    Opinions are interesting but ultimately irrelevant. What both of them did was against the law. Surely anyone over the age of 18 knows the basics of 'citizens arrest' and surely someone who is in the position of BOSS would know what to do when an employee is caught stealing.

    Surely anyone with COMMON SENSE knows that when a crime happens you PHONE THE POLICE. We have all heard enough of these stories to know by now that the law is... so...weird that if we try to intervene we will most likely get in trouble too. Usually more trouble than the criminal. I do realise that if someone breaks your jaw in an unprovoked attack they will get a £200 fine and a free anger management class, but the solution isn't to dish out your own revenge.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Similar situation

    I live in a nice area

    But a few weeks ago I was getting cash out of a cash machine stuck my wallet in my pocket walked to the car

    Some bloke goes "scuse me mate got a light", I mention yes he walks up to me and says "Gimme your wallet".

    So i punch him in the face repeatedly.

    I would call the police ambulance etc etc but i will get prosocuted so i leave him there (yes he was fine). Do i feel i was in the wrong No

    I would love to do the right thing but cannot

    before anybody goes on about is it worth £40. Yes it is because it was the last of my money for the month and i have 2 children and a fiance to feed.

  80. Seán

    Reading skills are a problem these days

    He didn't steal anything. He tried to. Apply that rigour to adultery and see where you get.

  81. Bob Ginger
    Thumb Down

    The cops *did* go easy on the boss...

    I suspect they did actually let the boss off quite lightly.

    Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to lock someone in a cellar and send a note demanding money to their worried relatives to commit a kidnap.

    All it takes is to move someone from one location to another via threats, force or deception. It's long, it's broad, it's very easy to prove and it attracts quite harsh sentences. The absolute minimum would be around 18 months, for what the CPS describes as "...circumstances which barely qualify as kidnapping...".

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