Photographer shoplifted with fake gun

PUBLISHED: 17:15 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 12 August 2010

A DOCTOR S son with a bright future was handed an eight month suspended sentence after admitting arming himself with a knife and an imitation gun and shoplifting.

A DOCTOR'S son with a "bright future" was handed an eight month suspended sentence after admitting arming himself with a knife and an imitation gun and shoplifting.

Talented photographer Andrew Cromb, 21, of Meriden Close, Bromley, stole several items from Boots in The Glades, Bromley, on June 20.

When he returned half-an-hour later staff found an eight-inch kitchen knife and an imitation black handgun in his pockets.

Prosecuting, Richard Woods said that on his first trip to the chemists he ran away when employees chased him. He added: "He came back afterwards and took some more items and this time was caught and police were called. He told officers he was not thinking straight and it was a moment of madness."

His barrister and a judge at Croydon Crown Court on Monday said they were puzzled over why a young man with a bright future would have carried out the crime.

James Sutherland, defending, said: "He has been under a considerable amount of pressure. His use of drugs is a problem he has to overcome. He can give no rational explanation for his actions which were completely out of character."

Cromb, who was rated in the top 50 in world photography, was given an eight months prison sentence suspended for two years and he will have to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.

Owen Davies QC said: "He may not appreciate how serious this is. What caused this offence is a mystery to me."

He told Cromb, a man of no previous convictions: "You are a promising photographer with the prospects of going to the US, although the likelihood of being allowed there now is extremely low, if not non-existent. If that is the case, you have only yourself to blame for your irresponsible behaviour."

Cromb pleaded guilty to theft, possession of a bladed article and having an imitation firearm at the time of arrest.

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