Trial of 10p plastic bag thief costs taxpayers £3,000 after translator mix up

Darlington and Stockton Times: Expensive bag for life Expensive bag for life

THE trial of a Lithuanian immigrant who stole two plastic bags worth 10p has cost taxpayers £3,000 after a Latvian translator was hired by mistake.

Tadas Tarkutis was arrested on May 28 for taking the Sainsbury’s Bags for Life at its store in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Police arranged for a Lithuanian translator to undertake a 120-mile round trip from Harrogate to assist the 26-year-old, who was already serving a suspended sentence.

The same translator was not available when Tarkutis appeared at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court the following day and a Latvian speaker was mistakenly summoned from translation firm Capita.

It was not until the Latvian translator had driven 160 miles from Warwickshire that it was discovered she couldn’t talk for Tarkutis.

Magistrates apologised to the translator and told her to make sure she got paid.

Tarkutis was remanded in custody and returned to the court the following day, meaning extra court, custody and legal costs.

At the second hearing Capita supplied a Lithuanian translator and Tarkutis, from Birmingham admitted the theft before being jailed for six weeks for the suspended sentence breach.

A spokesman for Capita said it supplied a Latvian translator because police officers had booked one.

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We are confident we booked the correct interpreter.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said that the court’s decision to jail Tarkutis validated its decision to prosecute.

A Taxpayer’s Alliance spokesman said: “Criminals must always be brought to justice, but this seems a remarkable amount of taxpayers’ money to spend on a rather minor case.”

Comments (3)

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5:37pm Thu 5 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

a criminal must be brought to court for a 10p shopping bag and yet a speeding copper doing over 120 - is never to be seen in court.
a criminal must be brought to court for a 10p shopping bag and yet a speeding copper doing over 120 - is never to be seen in court. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 4

5:58pm Thu 5 Jun 14

DarloXman says...

Is this another example of an immigrant improving Britain Mr Miliband?

How much does a translator earn? I may have to learn Romanian - I predict the police and courts are going to have a significant demand for Romanian translators!
Is this another example of an immigrant improving Britain Mr Miliband? How much does a translator earn? I may have to learn Romanian - I predict the police and courts are going to have a significant demand for Romanian translators! DarloXman
  • Score: 1

6:52pm Thu 5 Jun 14

behonest says...

One EU reform that Cameron should pursue is for countries to have the right to deport any EU national, convicted of a crime in another EU country, back to their own country.
The UK spends enough of our taxes on our own criminals, we don't need any more from the EU.
One EU reform that Cameron should pursue is for countries to have the right to deport any EU national, convicted of a crime in another EU country, back to their own country. The UK spends enough of our taxes on our own criminals, we don't need any more from the EU. behonest
  • Score: 9

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