Would you pocket a £20 note if you saw it on the floor?
Britons have been warned against doing just that after a shopper was convicted of theft following an incident in a shop in Staffordshire.
Whilst this happened a fair few miles away from west London, it is a scenario that is worth knowing and applies everywhere.
Nicole Bailey was captured on CCTV, picking up a £20 note that was left behind by a customer who withdrew it at a One Stop convenience store in Nashe Drive in Blurton.
The 23-year-old then left the store with the cash, without knowing who it belonged to.
However, the man who withdrew the cash realised he had lost the money and complained to staff at the store, according to the Stoke Sentinel .
Bailey was then charged with theft by police .
Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard the cash had been withdrawn shortly before it was pocketed by Bailey.
Prosecutor Ruth Bentley said: "Staff checked the CCTV which showed a female pick up the £20 note from a display in the store.
"The manager recognised the woman, who was a regular customer."
The court heard how Bailey, of Highfield Drive, Blurton attended a voluntary interview with police.
She initially denied taking the money, but after being shown the CCTV footage, admitted to it.
Bailey, who has no previous convictions, went on to plead guilty to theft.
Staffordshire Police Chief Inspector Karen Stevenson, from Stoke South LPT, said: "Morally, the right thing to do is hand in any found property so that the person who has lost out has every opportunity to be reunited with it.
"This was someone's hard-earned money and we are committed to supporting all victims in our community.
"We would actively encourage any member of the public who picks up money that has been dropped to be honest and do the right thing by taking all reasonable steps to try and find the owner."
Simon Dykes, mitigating, said the matter should have been dealt with out of court, by a police caution.
He said: "She didn't know who the money belonged to.
"People don't realise picking up something you have found amounts to a theft.
"She has been quite naïve in doing so."
Bailey must pay £175 in court costs and was given a six month conditional discharge, which means, if she stays out of trouble over the next six months, she will face no punishment.
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