Case discontinued against Maureen Smith

08/02/2013

Robert Jones, Crown Advocate, CPS Mersey-Cheshire said: "The decision to stop this case was extremely difficult.

"The suspect was charged with offences of theft relating to allegations that money had been taken without permission from two accounts over a seven year period.

"A complaint was made to Merseyside Police in 2012 and an investigation began. I received a full file of evidence and as part of my duty as a prosecutor the case was reviewed. 

"Having considered all of the evidence very carefully, there are a number of discrepancies in the case. From the evidence available, it would not be possible to identify the specific transactions which are said to amount to theft.

"There is insufficient evidence to prove which of the withdrawals were made with the permission of the victims and which were not. Consequently the prosecution would be unable to establish as part of the case the total sum said to have been stolen from the victims.

"It is alleged that the suspect made certain admissions which undoubtedly would have been challenged at trial. The suspect would have maintained that she was simply assisting with the withdrawals and that the money was handed over to the victims. Based on the evidence available the prosecution would be unable to rebut that assertion in court.

"I therefore made the difficult decision to stop the case as there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

"I understand that this will be difficult for the victims and their family to understand and I have arranged to meet with them to explain my decision in person."

Ends

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