Court told accomplices used sick young with life threatening disease to steal on their behalf

A YOUNG man with a degenerative disease likely to kill him in the next 15 years has been persuaded to steal to order, a court was told.

Samuel Smith - who suffers from Huntington’s Disease - walked into an Asda store, loaded up a �285 TV into a trolley, and walked out.

“He has been diagnosed with the juvenile form of Huntington’s Chorea, it means his social skills are lacking, he has a bad memory and is easily led,” solicitor Roger Glazebrook told Fenland magistrates.

“People drive him to a shop and tell him what they want him to get. He then gives it to them, but a lot of times he gets caught.”

Smith, 20, of Cattle Dyke, Gorefield, admitted theft of the TV. He had also been convicted of failing to pay a �20 taxi fare at a trial he failed to attend last month.

That offence happened when Smith took a taxi ride back to Gorefield, but failed to pay the taxi driver. He claimed the driver had agreed to payment within two weeks, but he forgot to make payment.

The TV theft put Smith in breach of a conditional discharge he was given back in March, for possessing a knuckle duster.

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Mr Glazebrook said Smith did not have the skills to resist committing offences, and had about 15 years to live.

The court gave Smith a 12-month supervision order, during which he must attend a thinking skills programme. He must pay �150 costs and �20 compensation.

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