IT professional Kishore Nimmala, 32, said he has been put off searching for love online for life after the romantic rendezvous turned sour because his date, Fakhara Sultana, refused to split the bill and expected him to pay for everything.
He was cleared of theft at Southwark Crown Court on Monday and today claimed he only grabbed her BlackBerry phone to get her “attention” because she became hysterical after they left the Ruby Blue bar in Leicester Square.
Date: Fakhara Sultana cute date short after not paying for drinksMr Nimmala, from Leyton east London met Ms Sultana on dating website Zoosk. They arranged to meet-up for drinks in the West End on February 15. The IT worker said the evening was proceeding well and they had enjoyed two rounds of drinks by 11.30pm. Mr Nimmala paid for all the drinks spending £54 in total.
He said that when he asked Ms Sultana to pay for the next set of drinks she said she had not come out with any money as she had assumed he would be paying for the evening.
As a result, she cut the evening short and left. But he followed her to Charing Cross Tube station before snatching her phone in a bid to get her to stump up cash towards the drinks. He told the Standard: “I’m just very happy to be cleared.
“But it’s not just the money (£1,200), 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.”
Venue: The ill-fated date was at Ruby Blue in Leicester SquareHe 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, who works on IT systems for major firms including banks, said the legal proceedings have cost him £1,200 in lawyers’ fees.
He also said has not been on a date since February after being left emotionally scarred by his experience.
Ms Sultana was unavailable for comment.
The court heard Ms Sultana had claimed that the IT worker was the one that became hysterical after saying she had no money.
Helen Thomas, prosecuting, told the court: “This case is about a first date that goes badly wrong.
“Ms Sultana informed [the] defendant that she didn’t have any money with her and that she had assumed that he would be paying for the evening.
“At that point the defendant became angry and so their evening together came to an abrupt close.”