Serial criminal walks free - with fines cut

A 19-YEAR-OLD serial criminal was relieved of a huge financial burden today after a judge reduced the amount he owes an Ipswich court by hundreds of pounds.

Simon Tomlinson

A 19-YEAR-OLD serial criminal was relieved of a huge financial burden today after a judge reduced the amount he owes an Ipswich court by hundreds of pounds.

Unemployed James Wiseman had racked up fines of £775 from previous offences but this was slashed to just £290 after appearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday.

District Judge David Cooper branded Wiseman a “disgrace” but spared him jail for his part in a number of offences committed over the last four months.


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He also said his debt with the court had “got out of control” and cut it by £485.

Judge Cooper said Wiseman was lucky not to be behind bars and issued him with an 18-month suspended sentence for a spate of crimes, which included:

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- Stealing a lorry and running from police

- Handling stolen goods

- Assault

- Breaching a conditional discharge after damaging a motorbike

In one episode, Wiseman stole a Mercedes lorry with a skip on the back from a business site in Norfolk in March.

He drove to another site, where he replaced the empty skip with one full of scrap metal worth £1,500.

From there he drove to Nottinghamshire and became involved in a police chase during which he jumped from the lorry, forcing an officer to chase after the vehicle so he could get in and stop it.

Wiseman, of the YMCA in Norwich Road, Ipswich, had been working for a travelling community in Norfolk at the time in return for accommodation and he claimed he had been under pressure to carry out the theft.

Sentencing Wiseman, District Judge David Cooper said: “No one can behave the way you have behaved. You are fortunate not to have your liberty taken away.

“You are a menace. You have disgraced yourself and your family and you have shown little remorse.”

Wiseman was sentenced to 20 weeks in a young offenders' institute, which was suspended for 18 months, and he was placed on a supervision order for 18 months.

Wiseman was also told to attend an aggression replacement training programme and was disqualified from driving for a year.

If Wiseman breaches any of the conditions, he would have to serve the 20-week prison sentence. The remaining fine will be taken out of his benefits payments.

- Is it right to reduce fines in certain circumstances? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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