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Burglar with major mental health problems is jailed

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: November 07, 2013

Mark Blatchford of Penzance.

A MENTALLY ill Penzance man who has been jailed for burglary was so unstable he thought that a cell toilet was a swimming pool.

Mark Blatchford, who suffers from bipolar disorder and split personality disorder, has no memory of the night he was arrested after breaking into the Barber Shop, Green Market.

Appearing at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday, Blatchford pleaded guilty to the burglary but denied attempted burglary at Stuart's Hair and Beauty on the same night, September 23.

The 29-year-old was also due to be sentenced for two charges of criminal damage, one of being drunk and disorderly and of being in breach of a suspended sentence imposed on him in January this year.

His pleas were accepted.

Elaine Hobson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the criminal damage happened at a woman's house in Penzance. Blatchford had gone there because he believed her son was seeing his former girlfriend.

Ms Hobson said Blatchford smashed a window in the woman's front door, causing damage of up to £200. Three hours later Blatchford was seen carrying two bags which were found to contain electrical items that Blatchford, of Morrab Road, had stolen from the barbershop, where he had also ripped a CCTV camera off the ceiling.

While in custody he caused criminal damage to a police blanket valued at £59.

Terry Eastwood, for the defence, said Blatchford had one child. He had been told he should not have any more children by social services, something that upset him very much. Mr Eastwood said that on September 23 Blatchford mixed his drugs and had no memory of the burglary or any events of that evening. "The custody officer had to stop him from diving into the toilet because he thought it was a swimming pool – such was his mental state," said Mr Eastwood. Blatchford was jailed for 12 months.

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