The UK’s Most Prolific Criminal Has 630 Convictions and Still Walks The Streets

The UK’s Most Prolific Criminal Has 630 Convictions and Still Walks The Streets

Patrick Lynch - March 15, 2017

Most of our American readers will be stunned to see this headline and may even assume its a joke or a typo. However, as you’re about to learn, the United Kingdom is a bit more lenient when it comes to repeat offenders than the United States. While states such as Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, New Mexico, and many others have either a Three Strikes Law or a Habitual Offender Law, the UK has no such deterrent. As a consequence, career criminals such as Patrick Ryan can rack up convictions without worrying about serving life in prison.

The UK’s Most Prolific Criminal Has 630 Convictions and Still Walks The Streets
Preston City Centre. Blog Preston

A Life of Crime

This isn’t to say that Patrick Ryan hasn’t been in prison. In fact, he has spent almost half his life behind bars. The trouble is, he is apparently addicted to breaking the law because every single time he is released from jail, he commits yet another offense. To date, he has over 630 criminal convictions. The police have issued a ‘Do Not Print’ order on his rap sheet to save paper! On one occasion, a judge at Preston Crown Court admitted that it would take some time to read out the lengthy criminal record of Ryan, which stretches to 100 pages.

Ryan’s first conviction came at the tender age of 14, and by the time he was 50 years of age, he had served 23 years in prison. Now aged 61, Ryan has shown no sign of changing his ways, and he continues to commit different types of crimes.

One of his most recent convictions came after he was just released from Barlinnie Prison in Scotland. He had a travel warrant to return to his home in Preston, England but due to floods, the train he was on had to stop at the town of Motherwell, Scotland and all passengers disembarked. Ryan consumed a substantial amount of alcohol during this stop and ended up in the hospital. When he continued his journey, Ryan was dressed in a hospital gown and white paper suit.

The UK’s Most Prolific Criminal Has 630 Convictions and Still Walks The Streets
Patrick Ryan. Express

In this outfit, he entered a Blackpool café, ate a meal, and then announced he couldn’t pay for it. To cap things off, Ryan urinated against the wall of the café. Remarkably, Ryan wasn’t jailed for this offense and instead received a fine of £110. Approximately 420 of his crimes involved eating a meal and failing to pay for it. As a result, he has received the delightfully British nickname ‘Rogue n’ Nosh,’ although surely ‘The Plague of Preston’ would be more appropriate.

Other offenses include shoplifting, theft, criminal damage, and public drunkenness. On one occasion in 2010, Ryan was unable to appear before magistrates at Blackpool because he was already in prison serving 28 days for theft. To date, Ryan’s antics have cost the taxpayer an estimated £3 million, and a handful of his crimes are of a far more sinister nature.

Serial Sex Offender

Ryan is also a convicted sex offender. In 2004, he indecently assaulted a 14-year-old girl by pulling up her skirt and touching her exposed thigh. Ryan was subsequently banned from having any contact with girls under the age of 16, but he disobeyed the order on multiple occasions. In fact, he has seven convictions for breaching a Sex Offenders Registration Order and five convictions for breaching a Sex Offenders Prevention Order.

In May 2014, Ryan was seen talking to a group of schoolchildren in Blackpool, including two girls who were 9 and 10 years old respectively. Later on, a witness saw a drunken Ryan lying on the ground with his trousers down.

The UK’s Most Prolific Criminal Has 630 Convictions and Still Walks The Streets
Rachel Baines. Lancashire Police Federation

Britain’s Recidivism Problem

If it seems remarkable to you that a one-man crime spree such as Patrick Ryan is allowed to walk the streets, don’t be so surprised. Recidivism is a major problem in the United Kingdom as criminals are allowed to commit hundreds of offenses without ever fearing a substantial prison sentence. Glenn Stacey has almost 400 convictions, and there are several more criminals with more than 100.

As well as wreaking havoc in the communities they live in, these criminals are costing the UK taxpayer an absolute fortune, a fact bemoaned by Rachel Baines, the Chairman of the Lancashire Police Federation. While Ryan’s jail time has probably cost in the region of £1 million (figures show it costs £45,000 a year to keep someone in a UK jail), the costs of his regular arrests and court appearances are probably double that.

One homeless man breached an Anti-Social Behavioral Order (ASBO) on 45 occasions and cost the public around £2 million. The London Metropolitan Police believe serial offenders cost the criminal justice system in the region of £80,000 a year.

The UK’s Tory Government is busily cutting funds to the nation’s police force, so dealing with repeat offenders is an enormous financial drain. The London Met conducted a survey and found that approximately 77% of crimes are committed by convicted criminals. In the last ten years, 25% of crimes have been committed by re-offenders within 12 months of their release from prison.

Also, approximately 20% of convicted criminals have at least 15 offenses to their name. In the space of three years, a failure to tackle the activities of 4,000 career criminals in London has cost the taxpayer an incredible £163 million!

In simple terms, the ‘rehabilitation’ portion of prison is a complete and utter failure in the UK. Nothing is done to help criminals adjust to life ‘outside,’ and since crime is all they know, a return to their illegal ways is inevitable. Additionally, the lax British justice system enables repeat offenders to continue committing crimes safe in the knowledge that they’ll either receive a light prison sentence or escape jail time altogether. UK authorities either need to impose much tougher sentences or commit to a program to help provide genuine rehabilitation to prisoners. Otherwise, the number of Patrick Ryans will simply increase.