A model accused of stealing eight items of underwear could have committed the offence absent-mindedly, a magistrate was told yesterday. Dr David Tsai, psychiatrist to Cara Roberta Chan, said the model was abusing a sleeping pill which may have made her fail to register certain actions. 'When she was around the merchandise, she might have committed some offence beyond her registration, and subsequently beyond her recollection,' the psychiatrist said. The model is accused of shoplifting at the Marks & Spencer department store in Times Square on June 1. She was apprehended outside with the garments, worth $714, in her bag. Eastern Court heard the 23-year-old model had been suffering from insomnia for years and her absent-mindedness was a side effect of the sleeping drug which she had been abusing and taking for months. Dr Tsai said Rohypnol, a restricted drug which Chan confessed to him she had bought on the black market, would cause anterograde amnesia, which meant a patient could only remember things after a particular incident. When prosecutor Ng Kin-keung suggested to the court that the model could have just chosen to remember what was in her interests to remember, the psychiatrist disagreed. 'She does exhibit signs of an impaired memory. She has difficulties recalling the exact details of any event. I gave her some memory tests, and she was shown to be absent-minded,' Dr Tsai said. Edward Laskey, defending, earlier told the court that the model had been distracted by a phone call from her boyfriend, Jimmy Carl Wong, also a model, who told Chan he was leaving for the United States. Mr Wong told the court yesterday he had made several calls to Chan while she was shopping at Times Square, and one of the conversations 'was not pleasant'. Magistrate Andrew Chan Hing-wai will deliver his verdict next Thursday.