An Indian-origin software engineer from East London has vowed to “never go on a date” after being cleared of stealing his date’s’ mobile phone over a row about who should buy a round of drinks.
Kishore Nimmala, 32, from Leyton was charged with theft after he allegedly grabbed the Blackberry of his date – the pair had met through online dating site Zoosk – after she refused to buy a round at the Ruby Blue bar in Leicester Square.
A jury at Southwark Crown Court cleared Mr Nimmala of the charge, accepting his claim that he took his date’s phone in anger but never intended to keep the device.
Despite the victory Mr Nimmala says he has been left traumatised by the experience and struggling to pay a huge bill for defending himself.
He says he has not been on a date since February after being left emotionally scarred by his experience.
He told the Evening Standard: ‘I’m just very happy to be cleared.
‘But it’s not just the money I have been struggling mentally for the last seven months. I could have lost everything had I been convicted. I feel like I never want to go on a date again. I don’t think you can get the right person online. You don’t know who you are talking to, I mean, I ended up in court.’
He added: ‘She said we would drink and dance all night, but she wanted me to pay for everything and I didn’t have enough cash to buy more drinks so she got upset.
‘We had a heated argument. She took my money, I took her phone, but I never wanted to steal her phone and keep it.
I just did it to get her attention and to get some money back.
‘Then she started screaming very loudly, so I panicked and I ran (with the phone) for a few metres. When I turned back, the police were there and they arrested me.’
Mr Nimmala arranged to go on a date with Fakhara Sultana in February this year after the pair met on Zoosk. He had spent £54 buying the first two rounds of drinks.
When he requested Ms Sultana to buy the third round, she informed him that she didn’t have any money on her, leading to the “furious” row with Ms Sultana chased to Charing Cross station by Mr Nimmala asking for cash.
He then took her Blackberry mobile out of her hands to get her ‘attention’ because she became hysterical and he admitted in court that he then panicked and ran.
Two police officers, who were on Charing Cross Road, joined the chase and caught up with him on St Martin’s Lane before they witnessed him throw the phone away.
They then arrested him and charged him with theft.