No verdict in Romanian grope trial

First published in News

A JURY has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a deaf Romanian man accused of groping a woman in a Rubery charity shop.

Aradei Costica failed to appear for the trial at Worcester Crown Court and the case continued in his absence.

But after deliberating for more than three-and-a-half hours and given a majority verdict, the jury of eleven women and one man declared they could not reach a decision.

Judge Michael Cullum gave the prosecution one month to decide if there would be a retrial but there is now a possibility Costica has returned to Romania.

Thomas Kenning, prosecuting, told the court Costica had gone into the Barnardo's charity shop in Rubery on August 18, 2012.

He had a laminated card explaining he was deaf and asking for money. When a woman in the shop refused, he touched her and tried to push her into a storeroom, Mr Kenning said.

She complained to police and Costica, whose last known address was in Walsall, West Midlands, was arrested in January but because of the need for an interpreter was not charged until April last year, added Mr Kenning.

He accepted he had been in the shop asking for money but denied a charge of sexual assault.

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