Antony Worrall Thompson has viewed to seek psychiatric help after being caught shoplifting
The light-fingered celebrity chef – who was given a formal caution by police for stealing food and wine on five separate occasions in 16 days from a Tesco store in Henley, Oxfordshire – admits he has been crying himself to sleep as he struggles to understand his recent behaviour.
He said: "It's all been incredibly emotional. I've sobbed myself to sleep — not because I've been feeling sorry for myself. I'd never do that. It's just not knowing why I've done this and the feeling I've let people down.
"I've got to face up to it and that means seeking help — psychiatric help. I don't feel ill — although I feel sick today — but I think these things go on inside your head."
Antony - who revealed he has been under stress
after recently moving home, suffering health
problems and enduring 12-hour days working in his gastropub The Greyhound, in Henley - is perplexed by his own behaviour because he would visit the supermarket and spend hundreds of pounds, yet failed to pay for a few small items.
He said he asked himself in the police station: "Why, why, why are you taking three onions?"
It is a good question - a packet of onions from Tesco only costs 95p. He added in an interview with the Daily Express newspaper:"Tesco and the police have been asking me the same questions, because the amounts that I took weren't even that big.
"All of it together only amounted to about £100. They were things like cheese, bread, onions, two packets of discounted coleslaw."
"On one occasion I paid £180 for three crates of champagne
and at the same time nicked £4 of stuff. How ridiculous and how stupid."
The puzzled TV chef admitted he was scared that the shoplifting sprees could be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease.
He said: "I hope I'm not going totally gaga in my old age. I have wondered whether it's something like that but I hope 60 is too young for something like Alzheimer's and I do feel that I have to take responsibility for this."