Adam Sykes gets bird for Christmas Turkey heist

Adam Sykes gets bird for Christmas Turkey heist


You know what it’s like before Christmas – shopping becomes a nightmare, the right toys are sold out, turkeys fly off the shelf. What do you do when money gets a bit tight?

One unknown person decided to use an unorthodox method to procure their Christmas bird – s/he turned to Adam Sykes, who decided to use his initiative. In early December he stole to order a £19 turkey from Iceland and sold it on for £10. We don’t know how, but he was caught, arrested and charged with this theft.

On 3rd January 2015 Mr Sykes attended Court for this and other matters, where he was sentenced to 70 days in prison.

There are fewer details of the other offences. We know that one was criminal damage (kicking a door in causing £216.04 of damage). We are told that he breached, sorry – flouted, his bail conditions by not attending a (drugs) appointment on 22nd December and not complying with his tagged curfew on Boxing Day.

Breaching bail is not a criminal offence. You can be arrested and brought before a Court and remanded in custody, but it is not actually an offence (not turning up to Court is however). It is an offence under s12 Drugs Act 2005 to not attend at a drugs appointment arranged after a positive test for heroin or cocaine on arrest, but it does not appeal that this was the offence.

So, on that basis, there were just the two offences. The shoplifting is the more serious. But even then, it is not that serious. The Theft Guidelines apply – have a look at page 17. Even on this basis, the starting point is a Community Order.

From the Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines, (page 44), the penalty for the Criminal Damage is at most a Community Order.

From the fact that Mr Sykes got 10 weeks in prison, we can assume that there are a fair number of previous convictions. He has spent some time on a tag which will count towards the prison sentence (2 days on a tag = 1 days in prison).

There is no mention of a Victim Surcharge. We would guess that the reason for this is that the Judge, having decided to order compensation for the criminal damage, thought that Mr Sykes could not afford to pay the surcharge as well. As to how he will pay the compensation? Well, unless Santa was nice to him this year and brought him a few hundred notes, he will have been given time to pay and in these times of austerity people always need Easter Eggs at knock down prices don’t they? Maybe Mr Sykes could facilitate that, for a suitable price at least …


Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


  1. Could a previously suspended sentence have been triggered and contributed to the 10 weeks after allowing for reporter’s licence for inaccurately describing the sentence.