A robber has been spared jail after attempting to hold up a local bookmakers with a tin of pilchards.
According to the Standard, Londoner Rory Seager, 18, had spent the last of his money on roulette in an attempt to win the £1,800 he owed a friend.
But when this plan failed, he came up with another idea: to hold up the branch of William Hill using a 99p tin of John West pilchards in tomato sauce.
Seager demanded the contents of the till while brandishing the can, claiming it was a bomb. But cashier Adeyemi Awomudu simply walked off into another room, and Seager gave up and left - chucking the can of pilchards across the room in annoyance.
As a regular customer at the bookies, Seager was recognised, and was arrested soon after.
Defending, Caroline Carberry said Seager had been suffering from depression and psychosis, and also has Tourette's Syndrome.
"He's far from someone who fits the profile of a robber of a small business; it's a great irony that Rory Seager went into a bookmaker somewhere he was known - he knew the man behind the counter," she said.
She added that Seager's own mother works at a bookmakers, and that his choice of victim showed he "hadn't given it much thought."
Sentencing Seager to a two-year suspended sentence and two years' probation, with an order for mental health treatment, Judge Karl King said: "There can be absolutely no doubt that what you did was to commit a very serious offence."
But, he said, he was prepared to take the "exceptional" step of suspending Seager's sentence.
"You are young man suffering from a number of psychological conditions that had gone untreated, but you had got to the age of 18 without having descended into criminal activity," he said.
"The disorders from which you suffered were long standing and one can only commend members of your family for being able to cope for so long."
Seager isn't the only thief to make a bit of a mess of things. Late last year, for example, a Wisconsin man tried to avoid detection by covering his face in shoe polish while he robbed a pizza restaurant. But when he stopped at a shop on the say home to wash the polish off, staff became suspicious and called the police.
Last spring, a New Orleans man was caught after leaving his phone on charge in the car that he'd broken into and robbed. But the prize surely goes to the Norfolk man who stole a laptop - while wearing an electronic tag that recorded his movements.
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