Thief caused £1,400 damage at Sunderland factory after being released from psychiatric hospital

Paragon Print on Pallion Trading Estate.
Paragon Print on Pallion Trading Estate.
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A thief smashed his way into staff lockers of a factory causing £1,400 damage then smeared excrement all over his police cell.

Craig Fisher, 23, entered a temporary staff area at Paragon Print, in Pallion, after he had been released from a psychiatric hospital on October 1, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Justin Gibson said a production operator at the plant arrived for work at 8.30am and placed his phone inside a locker.

He returned at 12.30pm to find Fisher there, his locker open, and his phone missing.

Mr Gibson said 10 lockers had been forced open, causing £1,465 of damage.

A T-shaped steel implement was found in a corridor between the reception area and the factory.

Gibson was detained by staff until police arrived to arrest him. The stolen phone was found in his back pocket.

“He was placed in the cells at Southwick custody,” Mr Gibson added.

“CCTV footage shows him to defecate on the floor and then smear his own excrement onto the Cell 8 door in the custody suite.”

Fisher, of Willow Road, Houghton, pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of criminal damage. The court heard he already had 18 convictions for 35 separate offences.

Kate Meek, defending, said Fisher had been detained at Hopewood Park hospital under Section 4 of the Mental Health Act and had just been discharged.

“He behaved appallingly at the police station,” she added.

The bench adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report, and Fisher will be sentenced on May 22 at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.