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Man sentenced after stealing clothes from Camp Hopson for son

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Jason Gollop only caught after stealing the wrong size and trying to return them

A Thatcham man who still suffers from blackouts and flashbacks after being shot in the stomach by a gang of would-be abductors in 2002 found himself in the dock last month after stealing clothes from Camp Hopson.

The court heard on May 12 how he was only caught after he went back the following day to return the clothes he had taken for his son, because they were the wrong size.

Jason Gollop, aged 43, of Almond Drive, hit the headlines more than a decade ago after he leapt to the defence of his neighbour who had been set upon by a gang of men who tried to abduct her from her home in Whitley, near Reading.

Gollop appeared last week at West Berkshire Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to stealing the £115-worth of designer clothes on April 16, before going back to steal again the next day, after discovering he had the wrong size.

Prosecuting, Helen Waite said: “His son had been going on at him for some time for some designer jumpers and he couldn’t afford it.

“So he went to Camp Hopson to steal them.

“He said to police that his son has been well happy with the items but it had been far too large for him so he went back to return them the following day.”

She said that this time his son tried them on in the fitting room before passing them to Gollop, who removed the security tags and placed them in his bag before leaving the store.

The court also heard that Gollop had only had custody of his three children, aged 16, 15 and nine, just 10 months prior, after their mother abandoned them.

Defending Gollop and speaking of the shooting in 2002, Paul Cantrill told the court: “He is a man who has very much suffered in recent years because of the consequences of what he did to help his neighbour and is still suffering to this day.

“Three men broke into his neighbour’s house and were planning to abduct the lady. [Gollop] intervened to protect the lady. She had three children.

“In the course of the incident he was shot in the stomach.

“He was very badly injured and spent five months in hospital.

“The damage was to his intestines and he required a lot of surgery.

“He suffered not only physically but also very badly mentally and he continues to suffer from PTSD.

“He has been having counselling for PTSD. He is still on medication for his PTSD.”

Mr Cantrill added: “He knows it’s no excuse that he stole these items.

“He was under pressure to get some nice clothes for his son and he didn’t have sufficient money to pay for them.

“He is adamant that the items he stole in the first instance didn’t fit his son so he returned them.

“It was not for personal gain but genuinely for his family. The police say he took them back to the shop and then went on to steal other items that day when he went back to the shop.

“There is no dispute that the stolen clothing was recovered and returned to the police.”

Magistrate’s sentenced him to a six-month conditional discharge, with no costs or compensation and a £15 victim surcharge.

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