Prozac blamed for shoplifting spree — (The Evening Press)

Original article no longer available

The Evening Press

Wednesday 25th Nov 1998

Taking Prozac – an anti-depressant drug – changed a York woman so much that she turned “hyper” and went on a shop-lifting spree at ten shops in one day, York magistrates heard today.  Lesley Ann Rhodes, aged 30, had never been in trouble with the law before September 14, prosecutor Alan Mitcheson said.

But when police stopped her after a call from a store detective, they found she was carrying stolen items worth just over £150.  For Rhodes, Damien Morrison said that she could not understand why she had stolen from the ten shops.  At the time she had been suffering from depression and taking Prozac.

“She certainly thinks that the depression treatment she was receiving contributed to it” he said.   Immediately after her arrest she had stopped taking the drug.  “She feels far more able to deal with matters when she is off the medication rather than on it.”

Rhodes, of Rowan Avenue, New Earswick, admitted stealing clothing and toiletries from Boyes, clothing from Etam and clothing and make-up from Miss Selfridge on September 14.  Magistrates conditionally discharged her for 18 months and ordered her to pay £70 costs.

She asked for seven other shop lifting offences from shops including Athena and Birthdays to be taken into consideration. Mr Mitcheson said a store detective at Boyes called in police after he saw Rhodes behaving suspiciously in his store.

Mr Morrison said that Rhodes had helped the police considerably, even telling them that items without a price label were stolen and therefore increasing their knowledge of her crimes.

She had been having great difficulties in her personal life.   The latest reconciliation between herself and her husband had broken down shortly before the shoplifting and they were separated.  This plunged her into depression and she saw her GP who prescribed Prozac.

“She says that Prozac was causing her to be over stimulated and almost hyper moving.  “She lost a substantial part of her close circle of friends because she was hyper most of the time.”

She also had to move house because criminal neighbours were making life difficult for her and her family.   Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.
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