Saturday, May 21, 2016

Troubled travelling minstrel jailed after drunken supermarket picnic

A travelling minstrel was jailed for 17 days after getting drunk, threatening to smash windows and having a picnic in the middle of a supermarket. Julian Stevenson found himself in trouble after drinking three litres of Lambrini to cheer himself up after having his prized guitar irreparably damaged after being robbed in Redcar, north east England. The 50-year-old, of no fixed abode, found himself stranded and penniless when he was thrown off a train in Middlesbrough for failing to buy a ticket. And the court heard how the homeless busker couldn't wait to get away from Teesside and resume his normal life on the road.

The busker, who uses his musical talent to pay his way around the country, appeared in Teesside Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to making threats to damage property, being drunk and disorderly, theft from shop and twice breaching bail conditions. Alan Davison, prosecuting, said Stevenson's problems started at around 2.30pm when he was sitting in a drunken stupor on the pavement near Middlesbrough bus station and spoke to a passing woman. The court heard how the defendant followed the woman to her nearby office and began shouting he was going to smash the windows of the building.

The woman alerted police but Stevenson had already left the scene and headed to a nearby Sainsbury's supermarket where he proceeded to eat a packet of crumpets, washed down with wine picked from the shelves. In mitigation Neil Douglas said his client had been self-reliant until he was robbed in Redcar and couldn't wait to get away from the area and get back on the road. "He can't wait to get away from this area so that he can resume his more standard lifestyle," he said. "He was robbed of cash and his guitar was damaged beyond repair in Redcar."

He added: "It would appear that he was trying to get himself arrested. He carried out the most blatant theft you could image - he was drinking wine and eating crumpets while sitting in the aisle, shouting for security." The court heard since his arrest, the defendant had secured another guitar and resumed his busking in Whitby where had earned enough to stay in a hotel. Stevenson was given a 12-month conditional discharge for the offences of theft and making threats but was jailed for ten days concurrently for the bail breaches and a further seven days for his inability to pay a victim surcharge.

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