A PENSIONER whose forgetfulness brought him before Blackburn magistrates on Tuesday for breaching a criminal behaviour order was back before the court on Friday.

On Tuesday, Richard Prew, defending, told magistrates John Crabtree had found part-time work driving a tractor for an old school friend and, for the first time in a long time, the future looked bright for the prolific offender.

But after he was made subject of a community order and released from custody, three earlier breaches of a criminal behaviour order came to light and he was re-arrested.

Mr Prew said the new offences, which amounted to Crabtree entering three shops in Accrington town centre, were committed before he appeared in court.

“If it wasn’t for the criminal behaviour order they would not be offences,” said Mr Prew.

“He simply went into the shops, looked around and then left. He didn’t try to steal anything which was the kind of behaviour which led to the criminal behaviour order in the first place.”

Crabtree, 66, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to three breaches of a criminal behaviour order.

He was made subject to a community order for six months which will run alongside the existing order.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the criminal behaviour order had been made because Crabtree was a prolific shoplifter and, since it was made in May 2018, he had been to prison on numerous occasions for breaching it.

Mr Prew said Crabtree’s health issues caused memory problems and sometimes he simply forgot about the order.

The probation service had started contacting him 24 hours before each appointment and then again an hour before he was due.

“He has moved out of Accrington, which gets him away from the order, and things are looking positive for him at the moment,” said Mr Prew.