‘Schizophrenic’ man stole £600-worth of designer shirts – then forgot he’d done it

Galleries, Washington
Galleries, Washington
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A man in the midst of a schizophrenic episode swiped £600 worth of designer shirts from a Washington sports shop, a court was told.

Magistrates heard Paul Sammons’ life took a turn for the worse after he forgot to take medication to combat the mental illness.

He took drugs and says he has no recollection of this incident.

Defence solicitor Philippa Wyley

Following problems with his living arrangements, the 26-year-old then went into Washington Galleries JD Sports outlet on September 2 and took the Fred Perry shirts before making off without paying.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court: “The defendant entered JD Sports at 1.40pm. He took 13 Fred Perry shirts with a total value of £605 and left the store without offering any payment.

“On the 9th of September he was interviewed at South Shields custody and said he could not remember anything.

“He then said he didn’t know what he had done with the shirts.”

Sammons, of Rushyrig, in Blackfell, Washington, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop.

Philippa Wyley, mitigating, told the court that her client, who is on Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, suffers from schizophrenia and has “regular injections” to treat the condition.

“He tells me that he had fallen out with some family members and his accommodation became sporadic.

“He took drugs and says he has no recollection of this incident.

“It appears to be isolated to these circumstances.

“He is now engaging with services which are offering him help.”

District judge Roger Elsey handed Sammons, who was already subject to a community order for a previous conviction, a £180 criminal courts charge and ordered him to pay £605 compensation for the shirts and £50 costs, meaning he will have to pay a total of £835.

“You are engaging with your community sentence and because of that I am going to deal with this by way of financial penalties but they do amount to a considerable sum.”