'Last chance' warning from magistrate for convicted Burnley fraudster
Ex-con Benjamin Kelly had also been shouting and swearing in the street. He was arrested after police arrived at 1am and he had been told to move on, but didn’t.
The jobless 32-year-old was on a suspended jail term and had put himself at risk of getting locked up for committing a non -imprisonable offence, a court was told.
The convicted fraudster, said to like to enjoy himself with other people’s cash, had been made subject to the 18-week sentence in July, after spending more than £100 on food and alcohol with a new dad’s contactless debit card.
Kelly, who has about 60 offences on his record, was represented by lawyer Mr Dylan Bradshaw, who didn’t mince his words. He told Burnley magistrates: "If I were to nominate idiot of the day, it would be Mr Kelly.”
He continued: " People are entitled to a peaceful night’s sleep, without morons in the streets, banging on windows and shouting.”
The defendant, he said, had been trying to rouse a friend who lived in the street, but went about it in entirely the wrong way.
Mr Bradshaw said Kelly’s reply to charge had been: ' I’m sorry.'
He had shown some insight and apologised to the police. The solicitor went on: "We all know the police have much better things to do than arrest people like Mr Kelly in the small hours of the morning.”
Mr Bradshaw went on: " The other reason he is an idiot is because he is subject to a suspended sentence.
"It’s a reduced level of offending, but it’s still an offence. He knows his behaviour is stupidity at its highest level, particularly in the context of the court case that hangs over him.”
The lawyer went on: " He needs to grow up very quickly and needs to realise the world doesn’t revolve around Benjamin Kelly."
Mr Bradshaw, who said the defendant lived with his 'long -suffering' grandmother, added: " It’s a tired cliche, but he really needs to pull his socks up. A man of his age coming to court for this type of offence, it’s a bit pathetic and I think he knows that.”
At the hearing where Kelly was given the suspended term, Mr Bradshaw had said the defendant had had drink and drugs issues, lived on the fringes of society and ' drifts in and out of criminality.'
He had bought food and alcohol for himself, but of course he was doing that with somebody else’s money.
The solicitor continued: " He likes a drink. He likes to enjoy himself. Lots of us do, but we work to fund that. Its bridging the gap to say 'Get off your backside and work for it.' "
Mr Bradshaw added: " He does wish to apologise for his behaviour, but it was his own gratification that was at the forefront of his mind.”
At the latest hearing, the defendant, of Nelson Square, Burnley, admitted being drunk and disorderly on Branch Road, in the town, on November 8th.
The justices extended the operational period of the suspended sentence by six months and fined Kelly £40, with a £33 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Sentencing, Bench chairman, Mr Graham Jagger told the defendant:” I think Mr Bradshaw’s description of this being stupidity of the highest level is absolutely right. It’s very difficult to disagree with that. It was a waste of police time. They have more serious things to do.
“As Mr Bradshaw says, you have got to grow up. This today, I’m certain, is your last chance.”