Harry Chown was being sentenced for the 77th time and faced his 34th stint in prison – but this time he was not jailed or electronically tagged.*sigh*
Oh, go on then, what's the reason this time?
The court heard how 48-year-old Chown's life had been wrecked by crime and drugs since he was a teenager.
For decades he had battled drug addiction and was jailed dozens of times.
But now, according to a senior police officer who has tracked his offending for 20 years, he has made 'remarkable improvements'.
Wheelchair-user Chown is in love, drug free, and helping A-Level students with their criminology lessons.Hmmm....
And top judge Francis Gilbert QC congratulated him at his latest court appearance yesterday at Plymouth Crown Court and handed him a suspended prison sentence for burglary.
It means Chown walked free from court and won't go to jail – as long as he stays out of trouble.He's already NOT 'stayed out of trouble', hasn't he? He wouldn't be up before Gilbert in the first place if he'd managed that!
It's not just the judge who's gullible, either:
Outside the court, Det Con Sara Thorn, a police officer specialising in work with prolific offenders, said: "I have known Harry for 20 years.
"I have worked with him, and over the last 12 months he has made remarkable improvements.
"He is not the same man, and has a new relationship which is a stabilising factor."Well, I suppose it's normal to feel protective towards a source of continuous employment...