Suspended sentence for man who broke into neighbouring jewellers

Gorgeous Jewels and Boreham Christopher were broken into by Reece Tye  Picture: ARCHANT

Gorgeous Jewels and Boreham Christopher were broken into by Reece Tye Picture: ARCHANT

A man who caused thousands of pounds of damage breaking into two Felixstowe jewellers during a ‘serious psychotic episode’ has been handed a suspended jail sentence.

Reece Tye was convicted of burglary, attempted burglary, knife possession and two counts of assaulting police, despite denying the charges by reason of insanity at his trial in May.

The 22-year-old returned to Ipswich Crown Court on Friday to receive an 18-month prison term, suspended for two years, with requirements to attend mental health treatment and drug rehabilitation in the coming year.

During the trial, jurors heard Tye used a metal pole to smash into Gorgeous Jewels, in Hamilton Road, before unsuccessfully trying to break in next door, at Boreham Christopher, at about 11pm on Christmas Day 2017.

When police arrived, Tye had caused an estimated £4,250 of damage and emerged with his hands beside his head, but said he was sprayed with an incapacitant and forcefully taken to the ground.

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He denied punching a male officer but accepted pinching a female officer's leg during a struggle. He was later discovered to have been carrying a knife.

Giving evidence, Tye, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, said he became anxious about the treatment of turkeys while watching his family eating a Christmas dinner at his mother's flat.

After returning to his hotel room in Felixstowe, he argued with his girlfriend and went into the town centre, where he said he felt "guided by the wind" and voices telling him he could save the lives of innocent animals by stealing something of value.

Jude Durr, mitigating, said Tye had recently been accepted on an engineering access course in Norwich, where he currently lives with his grandmother in the Hellesdon area.

Mr Durr said: "This was, for all who witnessed it, a shocking, disturbing and difficult situation.

"The position he adopted was that he was in the grips of a serious psychotic episode. Since then, his mental health has stabilised, and in the context of substance misuse, he is working with the drug behaviour change service to reduce his reliance on a methadone prescription."

Judge John Devaux said Tye's mental health, which had gone untreated for three years, was exacerbated by drug misuse and non-compliance with medication.

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