George Ramplin told a judge that he stole parcels containing DVDs because a ride on the Thunder Mountain attraction at Disneyland Paris had caused flashbacks to a minibus crash he was involved in as a 10-year-old.
The 43-year-old from Harwich, Essex, suffered serious head injuries in the 1978 crash which left his teacher and seven children dead.
At Chelmsford Crown Court Katrina Jamieson, defending, said : “Thunder Mountain is a very fast, frightening roller coaster ride. After being on there Ramplin was terrified and worried there was going to be an accident and all of a sudden memories of the accident when he was ten came flooding back.
“He was having flashbacks to the scene of the accident, dead children's bodies, and he lost two and a half stone in weight and his confidence disappeared.”
Judge Laura Harris said the circumstances of the case were 'wholly exceptional' and imposed a six-month community order with a six-month curfew between 7.00 pm and 7.00 am.
Ramplin, who pleaded guilty to four offences of theft, is now receiving therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was also ordered to pay £350 towards the Royal Mail's legal and investigation costs.