AN Adelaide journalist was yesterday cleared of theft charges in a London court case billed as the battle of the hidden cameras.
The Church of Scientology in London used hidden cameras to try to entrap Alison Braund while she was using a hidden camera in the church while working undercover, the City of London Magistrates' Court heard.
Ms Braund was preparing an investigative report for a British television company.
Chairman of the bench, Hinda Style, said there had been an abuse of process and awarded $31,500 costs against the church.
"It's a great decision," Ms Braund said outside the court.
"It's a real victory for journalists doing their job in the interest of the public."
Ms Braund filmed inside the church's premises in Bournemouth, south England, using spectacles containing a small camera.
Despite an attempt by the church to have it stopped, the program was broadcast on July 13.
Barrister Peter Thornton, for the journalist, said Ms Braund, identified by the church as Alison Davis, enrolled in the course last May.
On June 12, members of the church used two hidden cameras to record Ms Braund secretly.
"The church sought to entrap her by placing deliberately documents headed 'highly confidential' in the room and leaving her on her own," Mr Thornton said.
She allegedly placed the top copy in her bag.