The founder of retail clothing giants 'mk one', which was bought by TOPSHOP boss Sir Philip Green and later sold for £55 million, was convicted today of pinching a £17.59 bottle of vitamins.
Bankrupt entrepreneur Mark Gerald Brafman, 59, who now lives off Employment Support Allowance is a two-time shoplifter, having once also stolen groceries from Sainsbury's.
He tried to get away with stealing the vitamins from Holland & Barrett by claiming he was suffering a diabetic attack at the time, but this was dismissed by City of London District Judge Tessa Szagun.
"The CCTV clearly shows you picking this item up and putting it in your pocket and then move to another isle and pick-out a packet of mints and take the cheaper item to the check-out," she told Brafman.
"That is not the activity of a disorientated man as you would have me believe. You knew what you were doing and you were dishonest."
Brafman denied, but was convicted of theft from the store in Kings Mall, Hammersmith on November 29, last year and was fined £110, with £150 costs and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge.
The father-of-three, who lives in a gated community in Waters Place, Putney, offered to pay at the rate of £5.00 per week.
The court heard store manager Lucy Mitkova was watching the CCTV at 2.25pm when Brafman walked in.
She told police in a statement: "We get a lot of shoplifters in the store and I observed a white, balding male with glasses, carrying plastic bags.
"He picked-up a bottle of vitamins and then placed it inside his right coat pocket and then took some mints, which he paid for.
"After paying for the mints only the male left the store and I notified Kings Mall security who detained him outside and the vitamins were found in his right coat pocket."
Brafman told the court: "I am a diabetic, Type One, and I suffer from a very brittle type of diabetes. However hard I try to control my sugar levels it seems to have a mind of it's own."
He said he injects himself with two different types of insulin eight to nine times a day, plus takes tablets and was suffering an attack of hypoglycemia when he took the bottle of vitamins.
"I have this very erratic diabetes and these attacks occur very frequently. I really don't know what I am doing and feel I am going to pass out.
"I was really all over the place.
"I felt very unwell and had a horrible taste in my mouth so I bought the mints. I was confused by that stage. I did not know if I was coming or going.
"I have no recollection of taking the vitamins. They are not something I require in any way. I was just very confused and not aware of my actions in any way.
"I think my hypoglycemia got worse in the store."
The court heard Brafman was conditionally discharged in November, 2010 for stealing £67.76 worth of groceries from Sainsbury's.
"This is not the first time you have found yourself before the courts, but I will take into account your limited means," judge Szagun told Brafman, warning him bailiffs would be sent to collect the debt if he did not maintain the payments.