Convicted man labelled a fool

ROBERT Crawford's victim has today labelled him "a total fool" for snubbing community service in favour of prison.Crawford pleaded guilty to harassing Paul Valentine earlier this week and was given 100 hours community punishment and a 12-month rehabilitation order.

ROBERT Crawford's victim has today labelled him "a total fool" for snubbing community service in favour of prison.

Crawford pleaded guilty to harassing Paul Valentine earlier this week and was given 100 hours community punishment and a 12-month rehabilitation order.

But the 28-year-old has since claimed he will not do community service and would prefer to go to jail.

Mr Valentine, 31, said: "It makes him look a total fool.

"He says he wants to keep away from crooks but there are bigger crooks in prison.

"I think the judge has given him quite a stiff sentence.

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"He has got two children of his own and that does make you feel sorry for him. I think this sentence may be better for him.

"If he goes to prison he might have to do work and stuff like that but outside will have rehabilitation which he does need."

Mr Valentine's comments follow a story in the Evening Star which detailed claims made by Crawford following his sentence.

During a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court his barrister Simon Spence said Crawford wanted to stay away from the negative influences of others doing community service.

Crawford, who has previously been convicted of burglary and witness intimidation said he could keep himself to himself in prison.

The court case followed a claim of harassment by Paul Valentine and his stepson Matthew who used to live above Crawford in Heatherhayes, Ipswich.

The Valentines had lived in the flat for two and a half years and eventually moved as problems with Crawford escalated.

Prior to that Mr Valentine says the two families were neighbourly and often chatted as they passed on the stairs or when hanging clothes on the communal washing line.

Crawford has now received a lifetime restraining order preventing him from contacting Paul and Matthew Valentine.

Paul Valentine added: "I didn't realise he was going to be given an order that meant he could never come near me for the rest of my life, I thought it would only be for a couple of years.

"My biggest threat now is going into town and seeing him."

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