A FORMER Ammanfordmanhas been given a 12-month conditional discharge for tearing a disposable pillow in a police cell.

Richard James Lewis, formerly of 2D Penybanc Road, appeared before Llanelli magistrates to admit a charge of criminal damage to “a custody pillow”at the town’s police station.

The court was told the 42-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage on the evening of September 25 and placed in the cells for the night. At 6am, officers watched on CCTV as Lewis, who now lives in Swansea, tore the pillowapart.

At 6.35am he was arrested and charged with criminal damage.

Gerald Neave, prosecuting, toldmagistrates the value of the pillow was unknown.

Peter Martin, defending, said on September 25 Lewis had been told he had lost his job after 11 years.

“He was then arrested at 9.30pm in relation to an allegation of criminal damage,” said Mr Martin.

“By 6am next morning he decided he had had enough and took out his frustrations on the pillow given to him by the police.

“Clearly these custody pillows are not given to be ripped up, but they are basically single-use items, much like the pillows handed out on a long-haul flight.

“The police do not keep them to reuse, but they are not there to be destroyed.

“This was all borne out of frustration. He simply ripped the pillow to express his displeasure at still being in the cells nine hours after his arrest.

“It was a particularly frustrating day.”

Magistrates granted Lewis a 12-month conditional discharge and decided against ordering him to make any contribution to court costs. They also made no order for compensation.