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Yen for Luck

Japanese man Masaafumi Tasuruhara, 66, who pinched a 'lucky' coin worth 70p from a temple has had his 20 month jail term reduced to a year after a High Court appeal.

The legal fees for the case that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds are being met by legal aid.

The original court in Osaka, Japan, jailed Tasuruhara for 20 months after it heard he had been spotted taking the 10 yen coin from a collection plate at the Kongou-buji Temple at Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture.

Tasuruhara said however that he had merely wanted to hold the coin for a while so that some of its holy essence would pass over to him - and that he had fully intended to return it once he had experienced some good fortune.

But instead he had been arrested as he left the temple.

The High Court Under Japanese law, theft is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

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