MANY of us have stood hopefully in front of a coin-pusher in the arcade – but few have turned to science rather than luck to get at the fortune inside.

One 35-year-old’s attempt to do just that has landed him with a court bill far larger than the haul that he could have hoped for from the machine.

Vladimir Ivanov, of West Street, Burgess Hill, has been prosecuted after apparently trying to use a magnet to attract coins at one of the machines in Palace Pier.

Staff grew suspicious as they watched him in front of the 10p pusher on the afternoon of April 20.

They phoned security, who detained him, and then contacted the police.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said they found a “large magnet” on Ivanov – and he was unable to explain why he had it.

He appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court earlier this month where, speaking through a Russian interpreter, he pleaded guilty to going equipped for theft.

He was fined £110 and ordered to pay costs of £215 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Magistrates ordered the magnet be destroyed.

A Sussex Police spokesman said they had never heard of anyone trying something similar before.

John Whittaker, of Whittaker Bros leading coin pushing manufacturers, said it would be almost impossible to extract coins using a magnet.

He told The Argus: “I have not heard of that happening before.

“I would have thought you would need such a strong magnet because you are so far away from the coins anyway, unless they are dropping a string with a magnet on down through the coin slots or something like that.

“Obviously people do fish with bits of string with various things on, but there are measures to stop that.

“There is also a mechanical switch which has to operate [to let the coins through] - so I don’t think it would be easy at all.”