A for Anonymous

A is a criminal. A is convinced of her innocence. A is being threatened. A has fragile mental health. Can the Police fix the broken jigsaw pieces to make the whole picture, or has A run out of time?

1. A

Name: Anonymous for security reasons

Age: 13

Crime: Shoplifting

Date: 16th November 2007


A was arrested by PC Jessop and Detective Taylor after a witness saw her running from the scene of a shoplifting. Mr Mordecai, co-owner of gift shop Silver's, caught her stealing jewellery and money from his till. CCTV footage shows A running out of the shop, where Witness B saw her and dialled 999. Mordecai caught her and held her until Jessop and Taylor arrived.

Witness A:

Name: Mordecai, Abraham

Age: 42

Occupation: Co-owner of gift shop Silver's


I only noticed her because the shop was empty. She kept looking around furtively. She looked scared. She disappeared behind a jewellery stand and I went over to see if she was ok. When I looked around, she was helping herself to the till money. She realised I had seen her, grabbed the money and a few bits of jewellery from the counter and ran out. She looked like she was limping and I easily caught up with her. She fought like a wildcat - I've got a couple of scratches and bruises because of her - but I held her until the police arrived.


Witness B:

Name: Roberts, Dana

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired


I was just heading to back to the bus after my fortnightly tea with my daughter (minus grandkids). It was around half-past three and threatening to rain. It was almost empty in town, which is why I noticed the girl. She dashed out of a shop some way in front of me, followed by an angry looking man shouting at her. They ran past me and I stopped to watch them. I'm naturally curious, and this town is quiet, so when something happens, it's exciting. The girl seemed to be in pain and the man soon caught her. I was close enough to hear him shouting about shoplifting, and I thought I'd better call the police. I had to leave my name and address as a witness, as I couldn't stay or I'd have missed my bus.


Transcript of interview between PC Jones and A:

J: Do you understand the charges against you?


J: I need a verbal answer, please.

A: Yes.

J: And do you understand that this session is being recorded, and anything you say may be used against you.


A: [quietly] Yes.

J: You were caught on CCTV shoplifting. Stealing of any sort is a criminal offence. [Cough. Pause.] Are you guilty of this charge?

A: Guilty of shoplifting, yes, but...erm...


J: Yes? Go on. No need to be frightened.

A: There is! He threatened me!


J: Who? Who threatened you?

  [Crying continues]

J: [softer] I need to know. If someone threatened you, we need to know.

  [Pause. Sobs fade.]

A: [coughs] He...he was there. In the shop. He told me to steal those things.

J: You said he...threatened you?

A: Yes. He said he'd hurt me.

J: Did he have a weapon?


J: Again, I need a verbal answer please.

A: No. No weapon. But he had this look...in is eyes. Like he wanted to eat me. It was so scary...

J: Ok. You're safe now. What did he...

A: [interrupting. shouting.] No! No I'm not safe! He'll come after me! I'm not safe. Never...

J. Calm down. You're with the police now. We'll keep you safe. Now, what did this man look like?


A: He had a scar, across his left eye...wearing a long black coat...big hands...a limp...erm...I can't remember. I'm sorry.


J: It's ok. We'll find him. We've got to speak to your father, and then you'll be able to go.



Police Statement - Police Constable Jones

A was sent home with a reprimand, after a talk with her father about her mental health. The Police are on the lookout for the man she described, but are unsure he exists

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