Head injury is blamed for Cross Roads man stealing from store

Skipton magistrates court

Skipton magistrates court

First published in News

A 28-year-old Cross Roads man who blamed a life-threatening head injury for his impulsive acts of theft has been given a community sentence for stealing from an outdoor wear shop.

Joseph Atha took a £220 Rab jacket from CC Outdoors at Grassington in October, and was recognised by shop staff when he returned at a later date, Skipton magistrates heard.

Atha, who had been with another man on his return trip, had been chased by a member of staff and got away in a black BMW car, but was traced through its number plate.

At the time of the offence, he had been on a 40-week prison sentence, suspended for 20 months.

Atha, of Nile Street, who pleaded guilty to theft last month, was sentenced on Friday following reports.

The court heard in mitigation he had been the victim of a serious assault in 2010, which had left him in a coma with little chance of recovery.

Julian White said he had recovered, but as a result had suffered a personality change and was subject to impulsive acts of behaviour.

He was handed a 12-month community order with a 30 days general activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs, a victim surcharge of £60 and compensation of £220 to the shop.

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