Serial offender finally jailed

A JUDGE has finally jailed a serial offender with 136 convictions – and criticised himself for letting him go before. Judge John Holt said he now regretted giving Clive Wilson, the chance to avoid prison when he originally sentenced him in November last year for theft and driving while disqualified.

A JUDGE has finally jailed a serial offender with 136 convictions – and criticised himself for letting him go before.

Judge John Holt said he now regretted giving Clive Wilson, the chance to avoid prison when he originally sentenced him in November last year for theft and driving while disqualified.

But Wilson appeared before Judge Holt at Ipswich Crown Court once again charged with breaching a court order for his latest driving offence.

Wilson, formerly of Canham Street, Ipswich, but now of Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, is now behind bars after being re-sentenced to a total of 12 months in prison.

Judge Holt delivered Wilson a stinging rebuke for re-offending and revealed he regretted not sending him to prison before.

Over the years, the 37-year-old has flouted the law by driving while banned on more than two dozen occasions.

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However Ipswich Crown Court heard he squandered the opportunity to repay the debt for his latest escapade when he failed to turn up for numerous probation appointments. He also failed to provide adequate reasons for doing so.

Judge Holt could barely conceal his anger when Wilson appeared before him for breaching the two-year community rehabilitation order.

Re-sentencing Wilson to eight months for the original offences of stealing a car, and a further four months for admitting driving while disqualified, Judge Holt said: "On the last occasion you were committed here by magistrates for motor offences which you have persistently committed, they took the view their powers of sentence were insufficient. I was persuaded to give you a chance. You have thrown away that chance massively and it's entirely your own fault."

The judge added with the benefit of hindsight it was regrettable that he had made the rehabilitation order as an alternative to a prison sentence.

During the hearing, prosecutor Nneka Akudolu told the court, Wilson had been banned from driving when he went to an address in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, on July 2, last year.

The father-of-five asked the owners of a Volvo car parked outside the house if he could take it for a test drive.

Ms Akudolu said the vehicle's owners agreed and the 37-year-old drove off, never to return.

On July 8 a car was seen outside Wilson's home and he was arrested.

The court heard he told police that while he was on the test drive he saw a police officer, who he thought had recognised him. To avoid being caught he tried to hide and took the Volvo to his home address.

Judge Holt was told Wilson, who has been treated for heroin and crack cocaine addiction in the past, pleaded guilty to breaching the rehabilitation order at the first opportunity. He was also told there were no aggravating factors to the case, except for the sheer volume of Wilson's previous convictions.

Wilson's notoriety brought him to the public's attention in September 2002 when he appeared on the front page of The Evening Star after he admitted his 25th offence of driving while disqualified.

N What do you think should be done with persistent offenders? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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