Judge slams burglar's 'quarter of a century of dishonesty'

A file picture of Bargain Booze in Vale Road, Rhyl
-Credit: (Image: Ian Cooper)


A judge has slammed a burglar for his "quarter of a century of dishonesty". John Farron has received a prison sentence or suspended sentence every year for 18 years.

The judge at Mold Crown Court was dealing with the 36-year-old for his latest burglaries at Bargain Booze in Rhyl. He and an accomplice staged distractions during the raids.

Fannon, of Whitney Road, Merseyside, admitted the offences and was given six months jail terms for each one, suspended for 12 months. The court heard he and another man went to Bargain Booze in Vale Road, Rhyl on June 30 last year at 7.15pm.

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One distracted a member of staff while Fannon went into an employees' area and took cigarettes stored there worth £1,310.05, the court heard. Then the pair did the same thing on August 6. He tried a drawer and put items on a bag. You can sign up for all the latest court stories here

This time a manager saw him in the employees' area and challenged him. Fannon told her: "It's only a bottle of wine". In fact cigarettes and alcohol worth a total of £450 were taken.

He was caught later but the worker said she feels unsafe at work now. Today the court heard Fannon had been sentenced in January for offences committed before and after these two burglaries.

Richard Edwards, defending, said his client works with a conservatory company. The time he has spent on remand in custody over these charges has given Fannon a "new outlook on life", he said.

"He does not want his daughter to grow up the way he has grown up," he added. But the judge was scathing. "A quarter of a century of dishonesty! Prison or a suspended sentence almost every year for the last 18 years!" said His Honour Niclas Parry.

He said these burglaries may sound like pretty trivial matters but they aren't because he had an accomplice, there was planning and distractions.

"You were clever. You were targeting stores where only one person was working - usually female and vulnerable," said the judge..

"She was an easy target and she has been left afraid in her place of work. Imposing the suspended sentence the judge ordered Fannon to do 20 days of rehabilitation activity and attend 26 sessions of an accredited programme.

He must also pay £750 compensation to the store.

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