In December I posted a blog entry on the theft of Bill Bailey’s tour bus from outside the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool. The comedian, and star of Black Books and Never Mind The Buzzcocks was in the city as part of his nationwide Limboland tour. A Liverpool man, Francis Whittaker, 35, was arrested for the theft of the tour bus. He also stole two laptops and other items worth £2,400. Liverpool Crown Court has now sentenced the man, who is from West Derby in Liverpool, to two years in prison. Whittaker (pictured below) also admitted stealing a van from outside the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool containing £12,000 worth of tools. He pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and two charges of theft. CCTV footage had shown him, and another man, entering the Philharmonic through a fire door. The footage showed Whittaker leaving and driving off in the van.
Amazingly his solicitor Charlotte Pringle attempted to mitigate his actions by claiming they were related to drug and alcohol “issues.” She said that he had tried, and failed to address the issues. Fair enough if this had been Whittaker’s first offence but it was not. He has 42 previous convictions for 84 offences! Even if you assume that his first conviction was, say, at the age of fifteen, this is still two convictions a year in the twenty years since then. Surely a sad indictment on the effectiveness of the judicial and penal system?