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Mum of poppy thief says her life has been made hell

A desperate mum has spoken out after her son was convicted of his 109th offence

A desperate mum has spoken out after her son was convicted of his 109th offence.

“My life is hell”, says Patsy McDermott, the mother of a drug addict who has been banned from Solihull town centre’s stores.

Her son Tyrone, 32, has previously stolen Poppy Appeal tins from Dorridge and Henley-in-Arden and the Sat Nav from an ambulance answering an emergency call.

And at Solihull Magistrates last Friday, he admitted breaching his CRASBO and assaulting a police officer.

Speaking before he was sentenced, Ms McDermott said the shame of her son’s offending was ruining her life.

“My life is hell. I live in a little cul-de-sac. No-one will talk to me. Who can I pick up the phone and talk to about this? No-one. I can’t move.

“It’s going to kill me. I love him....”

Ms McDermott has even tried to make amends for her son’s crimes by making a donation to the British Legion to cover his theft of charity boxes last November.

But she defended the public outcry against her son following the thefts.

“What he did was atrocious... but he hasn’t murdered anyone, he’s not a paedophile, not a rapist, not a terrorist,” she said.

On Friday, McDermott, of Berrington Road, Birmingham, admitted breaching his Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order, barring him from retail premises in Solihull centre.

He also pleaded guilty to assault with intent to resist arrest on the same occasion after he dislocated PC John Whelan’s finger in the struggle.

Chair of the Bench, Michael Gold, told McDermott: “If I said your record was one of the worst I’ve ever seen, I’d be understating the matter, it’s abysmal.”

He was jailed for a total of 46 weeks, 20 for breaching a suspended sentence and 26 for the fresh offences.

However, Patsy blamed the vicious cycle of offending and prison on her son’s drug addiction.

“Sixteen years of drug addiction and no chance of rehab. It’s all been to pay the drug dealers. They should be shot as far as I’m concerned.

“He’s never been given a chance.”



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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