A father-of-three who went out stealing vodka told a court he did not know why he had done it – but he had never dealt with his young son getting meningitis.
Burnley magistrates heard how Adam Thomas Whitham (32), went into Booths in Barrowford twice intending to steal, even though he had money on him to pay for the alcohol.
Whitham, who formerly worked in recruitment, but is now a weaver, stole Grey Goose vodka worth £38.75 from the store on December 19th and more vodka and Hendrick’s gin to the value of £67.14 on Christmas Eve. He was in breach of a six month conditional discharge, imposed in November for theft.
A probation officer told the hearing Whitham needed counselling. She said: “He can’t explain it. He just says it’s a release. It’s obvious he needs help, but breaking the law is not really the way to get it.”
The officer had been asked to speak to Whitham by Bench chairman Stephen Riley, who said: “We can’t let things go on like this.” The defendant, of Gisburn Road, Barrowford, admitted two counts of theft. He was given a 12-month community order, with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and was ordered to pay £105 compensation, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Asked by the court clerk why he committed the offences, Whitham, who was not represented by a solicitor, replied: “I don’t know. I would like to find that out, but I can’t afford a psychologist. I don’t deal with problems, I just put it to the back of my head.
“Exactly one year ago, my son got meningitis. I think it could be stemming from that. I have never really dealt with that. He’s Ok now. Some people commit violence, I commit theft.”