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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Habitual Carlisle thief pleads with police to lock him up

A thief with more than 50 previous convictions was back in court after waving a wine bottle at police and confessing to stealing it.

Andrew Bell photo
Andrew Bell

Andrew John Jason Bell, 35, went up to the officers as they sat in a police car and held the bottle up, saying “I’ve just [stolen] this.”

Carlisle magistrates court heard how Bell, who has more than 80 offences to his name, told them he had gone into Sainsbury’s, in Scotland Road, on Sunday night with the intention of taking something.

Bell told police he had stolen the wine so he would get locked up, saying he couldn’t live on the streets any more in the cold weather. The bottle of Jacob’s Creek wine, worth £6.74, was returned to the store unopened.

Bell was arrested and spent the night in the cells.

Defence solicitor Anthony Wilson told the court he had been living rough since December 27 and had had enough of the cold weather.

“He wanted to be arrested so he had somewhere safe to sleep and to keep warm,” he said.

Mr Wilson told the court that if Bell was released from custody he would go over to the city council’s homeless unit in the Civic Centre to see if they could find him some accommodation.

The court heard how Bell’s previous convictions were largely for anti-social behaviour and shop thefts.

In December 2011, Bell – once dubbed Carlisle’s number one public nuisance – pleaded with a judge at Carlisle Crown Court saying he wanted to be locked up because he had nowhere to sleep.

Magistrates gave him a six-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 court costs.

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