|"Old Hand": Parkinson|
An OAP, who downed half a bottle of spirits before wrecking an optician’s during an alcohol-fuelled dispute, was told by a judge he is an “old hand” at playing the system.
Alan Parkinson, 68, of The Beeches, London Road, Mitcham, insisted he was due a discount on his recent purchase and threatened: "I'll destroy your shop."
However, Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court Judge Tim Lamb QC did not buy the pensioner’s claim he was the sole carer for his wife, meaning a prison term would impact her as well.
“He’s an old hand, he’s got convictions for fraud, he’s been in prison. He knows his way around the system,” said the judge last week.
“Probation have their doubts, I have my doubts about you and I’m making no promises whatsoever,” he told Parkinson. “You could still be going straight inside.”
He pleaded guilty to causing an affray at John Lewis Opticians, 261 London Road, Mitcham on February 27 and causing £10,000 worth of criminal damage to display cabinets, spectacles and a computer.
Parkinson was a regular customer and entered the opticians at 10am.
He wanted a refund for some glasses and was not happy and said his daughter told him he had paid too much.
Parkinson, who has 243 offences on his record, was told there was no discount due because the frames and lenses had been bought at different times.
The store manager Zaid Shoaib and the consultant refused to budge, causing Parkinson further irritation.
"He was huffing and puffing and his eyes were bulging," said prosecutor Mr. Paul Adams during a previous hearing. "He said: 'I know what I'll do, I'll destroy your shop.'
"He left but returned ten minutes later and said: 'Last chance. Are you going to give me a refund?'
"He picked up a chair and swung it around the store, destroying property including a glass cabinet, which shattered.
"He threw the chair in the direction of Mr. Shoaib and it missed.
"He picked up a glasses tray and threw it and then picked up a computer screen and smashed it."
As he left the scene of destruction Parkinson turned and warned the two men: "You don't know me."
Last week prosecutor Mr. Colin Banham told the court: “He was clearly intoxicated and staggering and was smelling strongly of alcohol.”
Parkinson told police when quizzed: “My head had changed. I went from mellow to feeling hot, my stomach felt hot.”
“He said that he ‘just lost it’ and was sorry about what happened,” added the prosecutor.”
Parkinson’s lawyer Mr. Ben Holt said: “He says there was provocation towards him and homophobic insults.
“He’s incredibly concerned about the prospect of a custodial sentence regarding his responsibilities.
“He has a wife to whom he’s a responsible carer.”
Parkinson claims a serious car crash forty years ago left her brain-damaged.
He was bailed until next month for sentencing.