Thief put up notes to remind him of curfew

A thief who believes he may have the start of dementia had to put big signs up on his front and back doors to remind himself he was on a curfew and had to stay indoors, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates' Court (s)
Burnley Magistrates' Court (s)

Howard Paul Brooks had been banned from going out at nights after he was convicted of receiving stolen goods in July.

The 55-year-old has now got another curfew, after he admitted stealing hair straighteners and perfume worth £216 from Boots in Burnley, on August 13th. He was also in breach of a conditional discharge, imposed in March for shoplifting, the town's magistrates court was told.

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The defendant, of Hobart Street, Burnley, must now stay in for four weeks, between 8-30pm and 7am and must pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. District Judge James Clarke told him: "The note on your door is a good idea if it's reminding you."

Mark Williams (defending) told the hearing Brooks went in the store and took the tags off the items. He was seen, was detained as he left and there was no unpleasantness at all. Police attended, he admitted what he had done, was asked to go for voluntary questioning, did so and gave a full interview.

The solicitor said Brooks' memory "was starting to go," and he believed he had the onset of dementia. Mr Williams continued: "He has put a big sign up at the front door and the back door saying: "You are on a curfew. Don't go out between these times." That has been successful and there have not been any breaches of it." The solicitor added: "He's not historically a persistent shoplifter."