A MAN so obese he was once hoisted out his home by a forklift has been accused of shoplifting.
Paul Mason, originally from Ipswich, will appear in court after being accused of hiding stolen goods in his mobility scooter.
The 57-year-old has been living in the US and having a reality show — The World’s Fattest Man — filmed about his struggles.
But after splitting from finance Rebecca Mountain, who contacted him after seeing him on TV, his weight has spiralled out-of-control according to producer David Pounds.
He now reportedly weighs 35st.
“To come back to the UK and use NHS money when it could be spent on better things, like local mental health, is infuriating”
“It has been a rocky few years for Paul,” he told The Sun.
“He has put back on weight as he copes with his relationship break down and depression.
“His food addiction has really got hold of him.
“Now he has been accused of shoplifting.”
Paul is accused of attempting to steal £175 worth of perfume, phone chargers and earphones from a Walmart store in the US.
He will reportedly represent himself on the November 15, due to not being able to afford legal aid.
He had been planning to return for the UK for surgery, but the plans could be scuppered due to his court dates.
David added: “Paul has had safety nets in the past but now there is nothing to catch him.
“He is hoping he can have these ops done on the NHS. He doesn’t know where else to turn.
“The cost is just too high in the US.
“He doesn’t have a date in mind on coming back. It depends how the court case goes.”
After a medical emergency in 2002, fire crews made the drastic decision to take out a window and brickwork to carry him out his house in a forklift.
His “food addiction” resulted in him consume 20,000 calories a day.
Paul’s old Ipswich neighbours were sympathetic to his plight, but said coming back for free surgery was “wrong”.
One said: “To leave the country and come back just because we have a free NHS is wrong — although it’s completely understandable why you would do it.
“He should be looking not just at the weight but at how he thinks and feels so he can cope better when he’s in a bad way.”
And Maria Garnham, a 43-year-old carer, said his TV cash should contribute to the surgery.
“I know it’s an illness and I don’t begrudge anyone for wanting to get treated,” she said.
“But to come back to the UK and use NHS money when it could be spent on better things, like local mental health, is infuriating.
“I suppose he will need housing in Ipswich again as well.
Paul’s story will be told in The World’s Fattest Man, The Big American Adventure.