Brit man, 75, back in jail after spending 50 of last 56 years in slammer

October 2nd, 2010 - 6:04 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 2 (ANI): A British man, who committed his first theft during World War Two and has spent 50 of the past 56 years in prison, is back behind bars at the age of 75.

Dennis O’Brien is one of Britain’s longest serving criminals and boasts 35 convictions for 70 crimes since he was caught stealing aged nine years old in 1945.

The petty criminal, who is described by fellow lags as “a bit of a rascal”, has been locked up 13 times for burglary, forgery, arson and handling stolen goods.

O’Brien gave the thumbs up as he was sent down for another two years at Norwich Crown Court on September 30 for stealing 7,900 pounds of antiques from a stately home and handling stolen goods.

“His offending goes back a very long way. Mr O’Brien is 75 years old and he was first before the courts in 1945,” the Daily Mail quoted Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, as saying.

“He has a large number of previous convictions for house breaking, burglary and the like and served over the years very lengthy prison sentences,” he revealed.

Melanie Benn, defending, added: “Mr O’Brien is somewhat unabashed about his criminal behaviour.

“He’s 75 and should be sitting in front of a fire wearing slippers and drinking whisky rather than burgling.

“He describes himself as institutionalised and that is very much the situation.”

“Given the amount of time spent in the penal system it would be surprising if had learnt after 75 years a different way to live but that is the situation we are left with,” she stated.

O’Brien was first jailed in 1954 at the age of 19 after he was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Since then he has been jailed for forgery, handling stolen goods, wounding, burglary, arson and possession of a knife. (ANI)

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