Man ‘feared for his life and deliberately got arrested'

A 27-year-old man told Boston Magistrates Court that he had deliberately gone out to get arrested when he went into his local Co-op and stole wine, wearing a balaclava and brandishing a hammer at staff.

Matthew Smeeth, 27, now living at Walcott in Lincoln but who lived in Milson Close in Coningsby at the time, admitted stealing four bottles of wine and possessing an offensive weapon.

Prosecuting, Marie Stace said he went into the Co-op in Coningsby at 1.10pm on July 9, wearing a black balaclava, and took the bottles of wine and went to leave the store.

She said he was challenged by staff at which he brought out a hammer and held it up towards the staff, who retreated.

Ms Stace said that later in the day, the police went on a welfare check to Smeeth's then home in Milson Close, where they saw Smeeth drinking wine from a bottle and saw he had three other bottles and also two hammers on the floor.

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He was arrested and when interviewed, said he was fearing for his life as he had been told someone was going to kill him and that he had gone out wanting to be arrested as he thought then he would be safe.

She said he admitted showing the hammer to staff to stop them detaining him.

Mitigating, Rebecca Freitas said Smeeth, who suffers from autism and ADHD, said he had had threats made against him and he felt he could only be safe if he was arrested.

After hearing from the Probation Service, Smeeth was ordered to undergo 25 rehabilitation days and was ordered to pay a total of £199 in court costs and charges.