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Sunderland knife offender back behind bars for missing probation appointment

A knife offender has been jailed for failing to comply with the terms of his release from prison seven months ago.

By Gareth Crickmer
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 9:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 9:57 am

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Homeless Tyrone Richardson, 34, was imprisoned in May last year after being caught with a blade in a public place in Sunderland.

But he failed to keep a required appointment with the Probation Service on Monday, June 27 – his third such breach since gaining his freedom.

Tyrone Richardson.

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Richardson, of no fixed abode, is starting 14 days in prison after admitting the breach at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard he wished to comply with the terms of his post-sentence supervision order but was caught in a “vicious cycle” of having nowhere to live and no phone.

During the hearing, the Probation Service revealed one of Richardson’s previous breaches had led to a seven-day jail term in February and that “he continues to not engage”.

Paul McAlindon, defending, said his client was taking steps to find accommodation and to lead a more settled life.

He added: “He’s long-term homeless and it’s therefore difficult for him to sometimes function as the court would expect him to function in regard of court appointments.

“Nevertheless, he accepts that he didn’t keep the appointment. You have three options – no action, fine or custody.

“This is against a background of not having a phone and no accommodation. It’s the third breach that has been admitted before the court.

“It’s a vicious cycle. It’s unfortunate. He was released in December and there’s been no more offences.

“His only time back before the court since has been the breaches. If he had an address and a telephone, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be here time and again.”

Magistrates told Richardson, who owes the courts almost £2,100 in past fines and costs, his offence deserved 14 days in prison.