Man who smashed watch cabinet at Leeds jewellers was 'desperate' to get arrested

A man picked up a chair and smashed a glass watch cabinet in a Leeds city centre jewellery shop because he was "desperate" to get arrested, a court heard.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:00 am

Delroy Herson walked into the former Herbert Brown jewellers on Briggate and pointed at a watch cabinet, told a staff member he was going to rob it and said she should call police, Leeds Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor, Kate Bisset said Herson, 45, picked up a chair and smashed the glass cabinet during the incident just after 9.30am on September 7 2018.

Miss Bissett said the woman working at the jewellers pressed a panic button and ran out of the shop.

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The former Herbert Brown jewellery shop on The Headrow in Leeds city centre. Image: Google

The panic alarm caused the shop to fill with smoke and police were automatically contacted.

Herson, who caused £1,500 damage at the shop, was arrested at the scene.

Miss Bisset said Herson's mental health was assessed at a hospital before he was taken to a police station for interview.

Miss Bisset said: "He said the voices in his head told him to do it. He was very sorry for scaring the staff member and offered to pay for the damage."

The court heard Herson has 40 previous convictions for 90 offences.

He was jailed for 32 months on October 15 2018 after being convicted of burglary, theft of a vehicle and driving with no insurance and without a licence.

Herson, of Scholemoor Avenure, Bradford, admitted criminal damage.

Mitigating, Michael Walsh said: "He was in the throes of some mental health difficulties at the time."

Mr Walsh said immediately before the offence, Herson had been to Leeds Magistrates Court and Leeds Crown Court and asked to be arrested.

Mr Walsh added: "He was worried about people following him. This offence was committed whilst still labouring under that misapprehension."

Recorder Andrew Dallas sentenced Herson to a one month jail term to run concurrently with the 32 month sentence he is currently serving.

Recorder Dallas told Herson: "This was an offence that must have cause great fear and anxiety amongst those people in the shop at the time you did this.

"I accept this was not the robbery that it looked like, but a desperate attempt by you to get arrested because of mental health concerns that you were suffering from at the time."