Actress Winona Ryder's plan to hold a charity auction to sell the $5,500 (GBP3,500) worth of clothes and accessories she stole is now looking unlikely - Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge ELDEN FOX is reluctant to buy into the idea.

Although Judge Fox praised the 31-year-old EDWARD SCISSORHANDS star for completing the community service part of her three-year-probation ahead of schedule, he sparred with her lawyer MARK GERAGOS over whether she could dispose of the merchandise by holding a charity auction.

Ryder - sentenced on 6 December last year (02) for shoplifting from the SAKS FIFTH AVENUE store in Beverly Hills, California - had to pay $10,000 (GBP6,500) in fines and restitution, and became the owner of the property.

Judge Fox told Mr Geragos, "Your client should not benefit from her crime."

However, he postponed making a final ruling.

Mr Geragos told the judge it was "ironic" that the court would turn down such a money-making opportunity in the face of the county court system's steep budget problems.

He said, "It seems awful silly to take thousands of dollars of merchandise and burn it in a bonfire."