Thief fined for stealing booze after hearing voices in his head

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A shoplifter has been fined for stealing a bottle of spirits after hearing voices in his head telling him what to do.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, July 27, how Bradley Gaunt, 24, of Mercaston Close, Holme Hall, Chesterfield, stole a bottle of Jack Daniels valued at £11.99 from a Co-op store, at Holme Hall Shopping Centre, Chesterfield.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “A male was seen in the Co-op picking up a bottle of cider and he also picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels and put this down his trouser bottoms.

“He paid for the cider but left without paying for the spirits.

“A couple of hours later the defendant came back into the store and requested a refund for the Jack Daniels but a staff member recognised him from the CCTV footage and he was told he had been seen stealing the drink earlier and police were called.”

Gaunt, who has mental health issues, told police he had not been taking his medication and he said he went to the store to get the cider for a friend and he stole the Jack Daniels after hearing voices in his head.

The defendant, who has previous convictions for two thefts and a criminal damage, pleaded guilty to the theft of the Jack Daniels after it happened on July 13 and admitted previously failing to attend court.

Defence solicitor Bertie Mather said: “He gave full co-operation to the store and to the police and in interview he made a frank admission.”

Mr Mather added that Gaunt suffers with anxiety and depression and has prescriptions for a variety of medication.

He also explained that Gaunt had previously failed to attend a court hearing after he had believed it was being held on another day.

The probation service also confirmed that Gaunt is currently subject to a community order for causing criminal damage and he had been doing so well that he had been identified as a peer-monitor for other offenders.

Magistrates fined Gaunt £80 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.