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Criminal who wanted to go to jail

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

by Julia Roberts

When robber Adam Walder targeted a teenage shop assistant just days after being released on licence, he was determined to make sure he would NOT get away with his crime.

Desperate to bring an end to pressure being put on him by drug dealers who blamed his former partner for "compromising" their business, Walder deliberately left behind his prison identification card.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Walder, 28, twice apologised to the 17-year-old working alone in Forsters School and Leisurewear in Sheerness High Street as he carried out the robbery on June 14.

He then took £70 from the till before leaving behind his "calling" card. He handed himself in to police just hours later, telling them: "I realised I was in a hopeless position and I'm sorry."

Walder, of no fixed address, had been released from prison where he had been serving a four-year sentence for theft and burglary on June 8.

However, the long-term heroin addict was targeted by drug dealers wanting him to pay off "debts".

The court was told that two years earlier, Walder's then girlfriend had given information to police which led to several people being jailed for drug offences.

Paul Green, defending, said Walder was pressured into committing a number of crimes over a two-day period following his release.

"They believed their business had been compromised financially by his partner's behaviour and he was put in the position of working that debt off.

"By the time he was committing the robbery he felt things were getting out of hand and that's why he left his personal identification card there."

Walder, who has since been recalled and is not due for release until June 2014, wore handcuffs and was also handcuffed to a prison officer throughout the hearing.

He admitted theft of a purse, burglary with intent to steal and robbery.

The court was told that during the break-in in Medway Road, Sheerness, also on June 14, Walder was confronted by the homeowner, Barbara Barlow.

The 50-year-old later told police Walder had not been aggressive: "He seemed more afraid of me than I was of him," she added.

Jailing him for a total of three-and-a-half years, Recorder Mark Van Der Zwart said leaving the ID card was, in effect, "an immediate confession".

"It showed that although you wanted money you were concerned at least that you should be caught and punished."

The recorder added, however, that Walder's record of previous convictions, which include a knifepoint robbery and several offences of burglary, was "shocking and troubling".

Recorder Van Der Zwart accepted, however, that Walder had not armed himself with a knife during the robbery at the uniform shop, despite the victim's claim to police that Walder said he did have a one.

The sentence will be served concurrently to his exisiting jail term and is not expected to affect his release date.

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