'I want go to prison to avoid crooks'

CONVICTED felon Robert Crawford today said he would go to jail rather than do community service because didn't want to mix with crooks.At his sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court for harassment, the 28-year-old was given community punishment and a rehabilitation order.

CONVICTED felon Robert Crawford today said he would go to jail rather than do community service because didn't want to mix with crooks.

At his sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court for harassment, the 28-year-old was given community punishment and a rehabilitation order.

However at the hearing Crawford's barrister, Simon Spence, told the court his client wanted to stay away from the negative influences of others doing community service.

But his plea fell on deaf ears and now Crawford, of Heatherhayes, Ipswich, claims he would rather go back to prison than dig ditches.

He said: "If I go to prison for three months, I will come out and I won't have to do anything.

"What good is it going to do to dig ditches?

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"I am better off in prison because I can keep myself to myself. I won't get time to be with others because I'll be banged up."

Mr Crawford spent time in prison between 1997 and 1998 for burglary and witness intimidation.

He said: "On community service all there is are crooks and villains. I don't want to mix with them. I have been out of trouble for five years.

"I'm not good. I have been in trouble but I thought I was doing well."

Crawford had told his barrister, Simon Spence, although he had enjoyed doing the unpaid work on previous occasions, he now wished to keep himself away from criminal associates.

Despite these claims, Judge John Holt sentenced Crawford to 100 hours community punishment and a 12-month rehabilitation order after he pleaded guilty to harassment.

He also received a lifetime restraining order preventing him from contacting his victims, Paul and Matthew Valentine.

Crawford said: "I'm not doing community service. I told the court I didn't hit anyone, hurt anyone or touch anyone.

"Why can't I go back to court, this isn't fair.

"Community service is not a suitable punishment. I think the whole system stinks.

"If you got all of the people on community service together all of them would say they don't really want to do it.

"I'm not being nasty or anything, but they just tell you to do what you're told to do and that's the end of it."

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