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Prolific Gloucester thief Rhys Shardlow back in court after flouting probation order

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

Rhys Shardlow was back at Gloucester Crown Court

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GLOUCESTER thief Rhys Shardlow – once dubbed “public enemy number one” by a judge – has flouted a court order designed to keep him out of trouble.

Last October, Rhys Shardlow walked free from Gloucester Crown Court despite his latest theft offence in a history of 64 previous convictions.

He was given an 18-month supervision order and ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work for stealing two bicycles.

But yesterday Shardlow, of London Road, Gloucester, was back before the court admitting he had breached the order by failing to report for supervision and work on November 14 and December 2.

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Probation officer Sian Worrall said Shardlow had failed to provide any explanation at all for his absences.

His general attitude “could be more positive” and he did not demonstrate enough commitment, she said.

“He had some difficulties complying with the order prior to Christmas but has assured his probation officer he will comply from now on,” she added.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC, who had imposed the original order in October, said “It is never going to be plain sailing with Mr Shardlow.”

Steve Young, for Shardlow, reminded the judge that at the time of sentencing, Shardlow had spent several months in custody on remand.

It had been Judge Tabor, he said, who had been keen to find a constructive sentence that would not keep him locked up any longer.

Mr Young said that at the time of sentencing, Shardlow did not have a home but one had now been found for him and he was much happer.

He was also co-operating with the prolific crime unit.

“He is clearly making efforts,” Mr Young said.

“He has made a claim for benefits although he has not been paid any yet.

“He is relying on family and friends to support him.

“But he is gradually getting the bricks in place so he can build something of his life and avoid coming back to court.”

Judge Tabor punished Shardlow for the breach by sentencing him to a two-week electronically tagged curfew from 9pm to 6am every night.

“You have been a very bad boy and everyone knows that,” the judge told him.

“Do you think you can sort yourself out? I know it’s not easy. No one expects it to be plain sailing.”

Shardlow said: “I think I can.”

Judge Tabor said: “You should have done better – but I never expected it to be perfect.

“But you should do a lot better now.”

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