Connor Dawes kicked and robbed a stranger in the middle of the night. However, when he took a good look at the contents of the wallet he had just stolen, he immediately turned himself in.
After attacking a young man who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a thief turned himself into the police and called himself “scum.” Connor Dawes admitted that he should be locked up for kicking and robbing the victim in an alley at night because the man has a form of autism. Dawes knocked the man over in the alley and stole his wallet, phone, and coat.
Only later, when looking through the stolen wallet, did the 19-year-old thief discover details about the victim’s condition, according to Mirror. In response, Dawes apparently had a heavy conscience, because he ended up giving himself up at a later date.
Asperger’s Syndrome is a type of autism. It is one of several previously separate subtypes of autism that were folded into the single diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with the publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual in 2013.
According to Autism Speaks, “Asperger syndrome was generally considered to be on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum. Affected children and adults have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Motor development may be delayed, leading to clumsiness or uncoordinated motor movements. Compared with those affected by other forms of ASD, however, those with Asperger syndrome do not have significant delays or difficulties in language or cognitive development. Some even demonstrate precocious vocabulary – often in a highly specialized field of interest.”
The following behaviors are often associated with Asperger syndrome. However, they are seldom all present in any one individual and vary widely in degree:
- limited or inappropriate social interactions
- “robotic” or repetitive speech
- challenges with nonverbal communication (gestures, facial expression, etc.) coupled with average to above average verbal skills
- tendency to discuss self rather than others
- inability to understand social/emotional issues or nonliteral phrases
- lack of eye contact or reciprocal conversation
- obsession with specific, often unusual, topics
- one-sided conversations
- awkward movements and/or mannerisms
In court, Judge Silvia de Bertodano threw the book at Dawes, taking the thief’s advice and jailing him for two years. “You may not have known this young man had Asperger’s, but you knew he was vulnerable because he was on his own at night,” said de Bertodano.
“This is a young man who struggles in life, and he has described in moving terms how much worse that struggle has become as a result of this,” added the judge in Warwick Crown Court.
“Scum” is certainly the right word to describe a thief who would rob an unsuspecting and defenseless disabled person — or any person, for that matter. Sadly, it seems that as time goes on, people are less and less eager to work for a living and have grown increasingly apt to lie, cheat, and steal in order to get what they didn’t earn.