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The woman replaced the chocolate but was still dismissedReuters

A woman in Germany has won back her job after she was initially fired for eating a bar of chocolate.

Juliane L. was a care worker for 30 years at a centre that specialised in working with children with disabilities.

But in February 2017, she was fired from her post without notice after she was accused of eating a colleague's chocolate bar – worth €2.50 – and using the company washing machine for private use.

Aged 64, the woman was just months away from retirement and decided to fight the dismissal in court.

The judge in Heidelberg on 26 July ruled that the use of washing machine hadn't ever been explicitly forbidden and that the chocolate bar had been replaced.

However Judge Daniel Obst said: "Infringing on someone's property is still not funny."

Juliane and the company reached an agreement that handed her a disciplinary warning over the chocolate and the care centre decided to resume her contract.

Employer spokesman for SRH-Gruppe Nils Birschmann said: "We do not want to hurt the woman."

They also added that the firing was about setting an example rather than the chocolate bar itself.

"With my head held high, I have done nothing wrong," said the 64-year-old. "I do not feel relieved."

The same court heard a similar case on the 27 July involving a journalist who had been fired without notice because she used the office mail system for private mail.