A WEARSIDE criminal has become an internet sensation after he appeared in a TV documentary on one of Britain’s most notorious prisons.
David Charlton, who is originally from Washington, featured in the ITV1 programme Strangeways, a warts-and-all show all about life inside the infamous Manchester jail.
During the programme, Charlton was seen carrying out a dirty protest, as well as refusing to move without the use of a wheelchair – despite the fact that he can walk unaided.
He was also seen swearing at prison staff and other inmates, as well as threatening to have inmates assaulted outside the prison.
His shameful antics have quickly gained a following on internet webistes such as Twitter and Facebook, with some people calling for him to have his own reality TV show.
A Facebook group entitled “David Charlton from Strangeways” has already been set up, and so far has more than 50,000 members.
One poster called him a “sick man”, another saying “he was a disgusting guy” on the programme.
A more sympathetic member of the group said: “People need to get off his back. If there was the proper help for him he might not have ended up so bad.”
Footage of Charlton uploaded on to YouTube have already been watched more than 80,000 times.
The TV show follows the lives of different inmates who have been sent to the prison.
The Echo first reported on Charlton in 2008 when he was given a restraining order and a 12-week prison sentence for sending abusive messages to a family of homing pigeon enthusiasts.
Charlton, who then lived in Tatham Street, Hendon, admitted causing harassment to Allan Hindhaugh, chairman of the Celtic Homing Club, in Washington, his wife Hilda and son Darren.
The Hindhaugh family, of Biddick, did not want to comment on Charlton’s television appearance.