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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Serial criminal gets last chance after chalking up 200th offence

A criminal who has chalked up his 200th offence has been given a last chance to stay out of jail – provided he keeps out of pubs and clubs.

Richard Nugent photo
Richard Nugent

Richard Nugent, 38, was back before a judge at Carlisle Crown Court after he failed to turn up for an appointment with his probation officer because he was busy shoplifting. The court heard how he was caught stealing a prawn sandwich from the city’s Boots store and at the same time caught with alcohol he had stolen from a Co-op store.

He had been on his way to one of his regular Probation Service appointments.

He admitted the thefts and breaching the terms of a suspended sentence.

Prosecutor Tim Evans told the court how on Wednesday of this week, after another appointment at the Probation Service offices in Carlisle, he went straight outside and head-butted a man who he believed took his bike. No prosecution resulted from that incident, but Nugent’s latest offences mean he has breached a previous suspended 24-week jail sentence for another theft.

“He has had 87 previous appearances before the court for a total of 196 offences, which means that with these offences he will have hit the 200 mark,” said Mr Evans, adding that the defendant’s history was one of constant low level offending.

Agreeing to adjourn sentence for eight weeks, Judge Peter Hughes QC told Nugent: “There are many men of your age who are struggling to find work; struggling to meet their bills; and struggling to bring up young families. They have to pay their taxes to society.

“I fear to think just what you have cost them over the years with your quite reckless and irresponsible antisocial behaviour. You have got to take charge of your life.”

Nugent, of Dowbeck Road, Morton, Carlisle, was released on bail, on the stipulation that he must not enter pubs or clubs; must not drink alcohol in public; and that he should continue his contact with the drug and alcohol charity and the Probation Service.

Judge Hughes added that Nugent would be jailed for a “significant period” if he got into trouble again.

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