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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Cumbrian man threatens to sue after five months of 'sheer hell'

A former BBC journalist says he may sue the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after prosecutors admitted there was no evidence to support a court case – five months after he was first accused.

A Carlisle Crown Court judge said CPS officials had wasted taxpayers’ money by dragging 45-year-old Adrian Quine through the courts when he had done nothing wrong.

The father-of-two from Lazonby, near Penrith, was accused of fraud by illegally using a railway company’s accreditation to get free parking at Carlisle’s Citadel Station, as well as getting £71.40-worth of free travel on a return train between Carlisle and Edinburgh.

He said he was entitled to use the accreditation because he had a rolling contract with a train company – and the paperwork to prove it.

It took prosecutor Beccy McGregor, who had misgivings about the prosecution, 10 minutes to establish that the case should be dropped.

After declaring him not guilty of all five charges, Recorder Paul Lawton asked how the case had got so far.

He added: “It is unfortunate that Mr Quine has had to endure what he has had to endure.”

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Quine, whose wife is battling cancer, said that the last five months had been “sheer hell”.

He said: “This case has been a nonsense.

“When British Transport Police officers arrived at my house at 7am, I gave them my rolling contract to prove it.

“My wife is terminally ill and this has had a massive impact on her. It’s impossible to describe the pressure.”

He added he was considering suing the CPS and said: “It was clearly wrong to prosecute, but they should have realised that much sooner.”

Carlisle-based district crown prosecutor Isla Chilton said all cases are reviewed throughout their life to ensure a “realistic prospect of conviction”.

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