10:26am, Monday 19 January 2004
Astonishing - there's an area of English law where "innocent until proven guilty" doesn't apply.
It's to do with "possession of housebreaking implements", which is pretty vague at the best of times: lockpick, yep; crowbar, maybe; hammer, who knows. The statute is the Theft Act 1968, section 25:
25.-(1) A person shall be guilty of an offence if, when not at his place of abode, he has with him any article for use in the course of or in connection with any burglary, theft or cheat.
(3) Where a person is charged with an offence under this section, proof that he had with him any article made or adapted for use in committing a burglary, theft or cheat shall be evidence that he had it with him for such use.