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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I stole £165 from a purse that I found in a hotel? I am eaten

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I stole £165 from a purse that I found in a hotel? I am eaten up with guilt..... What sort of fine or sentence am I likely to receive?

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What is your connection to the hotel please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was a guest there
How did you come by the purse please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The person dropped it. It was on the floor in hotel bar/lounge area and nobody else was around. It is really eating me up as I have never done anything like this before. Every time I see a policeman or a police car I feel they are coming for me!!
Thank you.

Obviously I cannot advise you to walk through the doors of the police station with your hands in the air and confess to offences of which they have no evidence.

However, if you are intent upon doing that, it's actually quite unlikely that you will be prosecuted anyway unless they can find the loser of this purse. They may be able to do that if there is anything in the purse to identify them or they may not.

Proceeding on the basis that they do and you are prosecuted there is no particular aggravating feature here as it's a theft by finding of a relatively small sum of money. You have no previous convictions and will plead guilty. I would expect a fine of between 125-175% of your weekly income or possibly a conditional discharge. There will also be court costs of £85 and a victims surcharge of roughly 10% of the fine.

One other option that you might want to consider is replacing the money and handing it in to the hotel.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I handed purse into hotel mimis the money

Obviously, it is too late to put this right then.

It might be that you will receive some police contact as I presume that the hotel can identify you.

However, there is still no sense in walking into a police station and confessing. The onus is upon them to prove what they allege and when you confess you do the job for them.
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