Burnley man wanted to be sent to prison


A 28-year-old Burnley man who invited magistrates to send him to prison was upset when they refused to comply with his request.

When the magistrates sitting in Blackburn suspended his sentence, Aaron Michael Roberts declared: “That’s not good enough. I’m asking you to send me to prison. What do I have to do?”

Roberts, of Accrington Road, Burnley, admitted damaging a door belonging to Holly Fort and breaching a restraining order in her favour. He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for two years, made subject to community supervision for 12 months, a curfew between 9pm and 6am for 12 weeks and ordered to pay £400 compensation.

He responded by saying he did not want to go back onto the streets.

“I’ll go and commit crime again. I’m asking you to send me to prison and I’m not paying anything.”

Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said Miss Fort described Roberts as her ex-partner. She was at her mother’s home when he sent her a text asking where she was and started calling her. Later in the evening she was at her own home in Cardigan Avenue when he started banging on her window and accused her of having “someone in there”. She demanded that he go away but he started kicking her front door.

“She leaned against the door but could feel it starting to creak,” said Miss Akhtar. “All of a sudden it split in two and he pushed his way into her house. While he made a brief search of her home she went outside and called the police.”

She later told officers she was terrified of her ex and could not lead a normal life because of him.

Rachael Griffiths (defending) said Roberts had been working away for some time and it had been “easier” for him to cope with the break-down of the relationship.

“Since he has been back in Burnley his health has deteriorated,” said Miss Griffiths. “He can’t concentrate at work and his fear is that if he is released today he will go on to commit further offences. My instructions are that he wants to be sent into custody. He says he is too emotionally attached to his ex-partner.”

Imposing a suspended sentence the chairman of the magistrates said sending Roberts to prison would not solve anything and he would come out in a worse position.