ONE of Britain’s most prolific criminals, who is calculated to have cost the country more than £3 million pounds in justice costs, has credited going to prison with keeping him alive.
Patrick Ryan, who has now clocked up 651 offences, first came before the courts 50 years ago and reckons he has spent 35 years of his life serving jail sentences.
Ryan, who started drinking at the age of 13 and became an alcoholic, said the prison sentences he has received have kept him alive as he gets the chance to stop drinking and to dry out.
He is calculated to have cost the British public more than £3 million for the investigation of his crimes, his prosecutions and time in jail.
Ryan, 61, formerly of Priory Street, Preston, and South King Street, Blackpool, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining food and drink and breaching a conditional discharge for stealing two bottles of wine.
He was sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment and ordered to pay £27.41 compensation to the owner of the restaurant where he bilked food and drink by Blackpool magistrates.
Prosecutor Martine Connah, said on September 4, Ryan went into The Kings Hotel, New South Promenade, Blackpool. He ordered lasagne, a double Jack Daniels and coke and a bottle of Pinot Grigio wine. Ryan then went to sleep and when he woke ordered a steak. The restauranteur asked him to first pay for what he had already had, but Ryan said he had no money.
Peter Manning, defending, said Ryan had lost count of the number of offences he had committed and the number of mainly short jail terms he had served, but had calculated from first coming before a court 50 years ago he had spent 35 years of his life in prison.
Mr Manning added: “He says these short sentences have kept him alive as they stop him consuming alcohol.
“He does not ask me to try and persuade you to keep him out prison. He says he know he needs to go to prison to dry out. He still wishes to give up the drink.”