Belfast Telegraph

PSNI officer Linda Totten's shoplifting case may go to retrial

By Michael Donnelly

A PSNI sergeant will find out next week if she is to be retried for shoplifting from a supermarket after a jury was unable to reach verdicts.

Yesterday, following five hours of deliberation over two days, the Dungannon jury of eight men and four women reported that not only were they hung on reaching a unanimous verdict in the case of Sergeant Linda Totten, but there was also no prospect of a majority of them agreeing.

During her week-long Crown Court trial, the 50-year-old, whose address was given as Enniskillen PSNI station, maintained that as a police officer her job was to uphold the law, not break it, and that she was far from the "bold and brazen thief" that the prosecution contended.

The sergeant had been accused of two theft charges at Asda - one for a trolley full of goods, value unknown, on December 20, and the other involving more than £155 worth of goods on Christmas Eve 2013.

During her trial Sgt Totten rejected the prosecution case that she had failed to pay for all of her shopping.

The prosecution had claimed that she would place a cardboard box containing low cost items on top of the shopping, before taking it to a checkout.

They further alleged that at the checkout she paid only for those goods in the box, and if challenged about the groceries in the trolley underneath, claimed they had been paid for earlier.

Dismissing the jury, Judge Neil Rafferty QC told them that their inability to reach any verdict "should not be seen as a failure".

Sgt Totten was later released on continuing bail, and should find out by the end of next week if she is to face a retrial before Christmas.

Belfast Telegraph

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