A 26-year-old former Cross Hands man who climbed out a toilet window at Ammanford police station and made off with a mobile phone adaptor loaned to him by officers has seen a charge of theft dropped.
Thomas John Pritchard, formerly of 57 Llandeilo Road but now living in Carmarthen, was taken to the station by officers after police were called to a row at his brother’s flat in Heol Marlais, Ammanford, at 1am on January 25.
While at the station, Pritchard asked to borrow an adaptor to charge his phone so he could call friends and arrange somewhere else to stay the night.
Officers eventually found a suitable charger and left him to make his arrangements in a locked waiting area between the station’s front entrance and a door to the rest of the station, which is only opened by means of a key-code.
However, Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, told Llanelli magistrates that when officers returned, Pritchard had disappeared – along with the charger.
“The police were first called to the property following an argument between the brothers,” said Ms Morgan.
“Pritchard was asked to leave but because he did not have anywhere else to stay he was taken to the police station to charge his phone.
“He was left in the foyer area on his own but when the officers came back he was gone – and so was the charger.”
The officers returned to Pritchard’s brother’s property and immediately heard two raised male voices. They also spotted a broken window.
Pritchard’s brother initially denied Pritchard was in the house, but when the police eventually got inside they found him in a cupboard hiding beneath old clothing and off-cuts of carpet.
He still had the phone charger in his pocket.
Peter Rhys Jones, defending, told the court how Pritchard had been at the property helping his brother redecorate when an argument broke out between the pair.
“This was a brotherly dispute, but things got a little fractious,” said Mr Jones.
“After getting out of the police station he returned to the flat because he knew his brother had been drinking.
“He was concerned for his brother’s welfare and so decided to break a window to get in and make sure everything was ok.”
Regarding Pritchard’s escape from the police station and the missing phone charger, Mr Jones said: “He found himself trapped in the Ammanford police station between two locked doors.
“He had nowhere else to go so he climbed out through a window in the toilet.
“He had every intention of returning the following day to hand back the charger.”
Pritchard admitted smashing the window and also admitted he was in breach of a six-month conditional discharge for cannabis possession imposed last year.
Magistrates agreed to formerly withdraw the charge of theft, but fined Pritchard £110 for criminal damage to the window.
He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to Carmarthenshire county council, owners of the property, along with £85 court costs and a £20 legal surcharge.
Magistrates also removed the earlier discharge and fined Pritchard £110 for cannabis possession.