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Penzance burglar thought cell toilet was a swimming pool

By CMJohannaCarr  |  Posted: October 31, 2013

  • Mark Blatchford

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A MENTALLY ill Penzance man who has been jailed for burglary was so mentally 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, and had to be stopped by a police officer from diving into the toilet.

Appearing at Truro Crown Court on Tuesday, Blatchford pleaded guilty to the burglary on but denied attempted burglary at Stuart’s Hair and Beauty on the same night on 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 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 and that Blatchford had gone there because he believed her son was seeing his ex-girlfriend.

Ms Hobson said he then smashed a window in the woman’s front door, causing £100-£200 damage.

“Three hours later Mr Blatchford is seen in Penzance by police who see that he has two bags on him,” said Ms Hobson.

Police arrested him and the bags 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, defending, said Blatchford had one child but had been told he should not have any more children by social services – something that upset him very much.

Mr Eastwood said he has split personality disorder and on September 23 he had mixed his drugs and had no memory of the burglary or any of the events of that evening.

“The custody officer had to come in and 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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