While Mohammed Javed was in the back room of Vigo Food Stores in Birtley, a criminal came in and stole four bottles of beer. After checking the CCTV footage, local police were able to catch the offender.
However, following the prosecution, Mohammed received a compensation cheque from Gateshead Magistrates made out for the princely sum of 10 pence.
"At first I thought it was £10 and a mistake had been made, but this was not the case," said Mohammed. "What am I supposed to do with it? It would cost me 50p to bank it."
Instead of cashing the cheque, Mohammed has placed a copy of it in his shop window to express his disgust. "It's a joke, a complete waste of time and money for everyone," he said. "It costs more for the stamp and to print it off. Why did they bother?"
A spokeswoman for Her Majesty's Court Service said that cheques of such low value are not meant to be sent out and apologised for the error.