Can MS Brain fog be used an excuse for shoplifting?

Been a hard few days for our family as we sadly had to say goodbye on Saturday to our remaining Jack Russell Bella slightly less than a year after our boy Jack.We are all very upset but at least i am distracted by going to work. The house seems so empty and this is probably worse for my wife as she is home most of the time so was with her nearly all the time.

Anyway my wife Jayne was able to have a break from house today and got out with a friend to go round a few charity shops.They found a top which was perfect for Jayne so chucked it in basket on her walker and carried on round shop.In the next shop she found something for our daughter and looked down to place it on walker,seeing the other top and realised she had half inched it!

She was mortified and took it back to pay,the old lady in the shop had seen her leave but apparently wasn’t sure if it was the top she looked at or if she had a stripey bag.

Do you think its ok to use Ms brain fog as an excuse for a bit of petty thieving?! Its giving us a bit of a laugh and lightened the mood a bit as we struggle to come to terms with the loss of Baby bell.

Sort of yes. And kind of no, it’s not necessary. Grief can turn anyone into a kleptomaniac.

I’m very sorry for your loss Ollie. And obviously it affects the entire family. Our pets are a very important member of the family, so losing one is terrible.

At least Mrs Ollie owned up.

My condolences to the whole Ollie family.


I think it’s very much a case of “intention”

did someone “intend” to take an item without paying?

if the answer is No then I don’t see why “brain fog” couldn’t be a defence. about 40 years ago there was a very well know tv celebrity who got "done " for shoplifting her defence was “memory” sadly the stress of the whole thing (being on the news and in the papers) lead to her suicide. So I think maybe these days the police and courts are a bit more understanding and I suspect that the CPS wouldn’t prosecute if it’s on the record that someone has memory problems.

not to mention that the cash strapped police in some areas won’t deal with shoplifting unless the stolen items are expensive “designer clothes” or an obvious professional shoplifter at work.

get this, the day before my mothers funeral I went out to get black tights, I had no money but really needed the tights so I went to a cash point took out 10 quid and left my card in the bloody machine and got done for 50 quid, ain’t grief fabulous!


possibly a good wind up but

I’m an ex-detective and your wife is completely innocent of any crime.

Definition of theft - Dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

so initially there’s no dishonesty as she took it accidentally. She had intended to buy it but forgot and left the shop. All the ingredients of theft are there at that point except the dishonesty. In legal jargon for most crimes there must be the actus reus and the mens rea. That is the act - taking the top and the intention- dishonesty.

It’s possible for her to steal the top when she discovers her error if she then decides to keep it without paying. However she demonstrates her integrity by returning to pay. Case dismissed.

regards and smiling



Hi, this happened to me well sort of

I was in a shopping mall and had purchased a good few items but when I got down to the car and loaded up I had something that I for the life of me I could not remember paying for nor could I remember the shop the said item was purchased. Luckily there was a kind man at the information desk was very understanding and asked me to leave the item and he would investigate and phone me with the result.

Turns out I had paid for the item so went back and collected the next week somewhat sheepish for being a effin eejit. but for a few days, I honestly felt like a shoplifter.