Clay iPad sold by Tesco, man who bought it jailed

Jordan O'Brien
November 19, 2013

Imagine exchanging £470 for an iPad to find out all you’ve bought are lumps of clay. I imagine you’ll be pretty annoyed by it, right? Well according to one unlucky customer at a Tesco store in Whitstable, Kent, that’s exactly what happened – but get this, when he went back to the store to demand that he get the iPad he was entitled to, he was arrested and then jailed for fraud.

The victim of this surreal tale is one Colin Marsh, who is a owns two bakeries and bought the iPad as a Christmas gift for his daughters, aged 11 and eight. Whilst it may not sound like he’s a master fraudsters, staff at this particularly Tesco reported the incident to the police upon Marsh’s request for a refund.

The police then took it a step further calling Marsh two days later and requesting that he report to his local police station, where he was held for three hours. After three hours he was accused of trying to defraud the supermarket and released on bail. Two months later he was told that he faced no further action.

The reason for the accusation being dropped was because the police finally discovered that the iPad that it had confirmed had been activated, was actually activated in Wales – some 200 miles away from the Kentish coast where Marsh bought it. After the ordeal he eventually got his money back from the supermarket giant, but without apology according to Marsh.

Since hearing the news for itself, Tesco has issued a statement:

“We were very disappointed to learn that the product we sold to Mr Marsh had been tampered with. We would of course never knowingly have sold it to Mr Marsh and we apologise sincerely for the problems this has caused him.

“We immediately launched an internal investigation into how this happened and shared the information we gathered with the police, which we believe was the right thing to do. The police investigation and the actions they took are a matter for the police.”

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

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