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One-man crimewave posts TikTok video of his arrest after six-month lawless spree in Thanet and Canterbury

A one-man crimewave who terrorised shop staff and attacked police posted a video of his arrest on TikTok after his lawless spree was finally ended.

Prolific thief Bill Winsbury carried out a string of offences across Thanet and Canterbury over the course of almost six months.

After police apprehended him in July in Margate, the 40-year-old shared the footage on social media.

He can be heard shouting “I’m going to kill you” and “TikTok” at various points during the 90-second clip.

When Winsbury appeared in court on Thursday, he claimed he was going to be famous and his rapping skills would be showcased on a TV show airing in November.

But Folkestone magistrates jailed him after hearing how he carried out 17 offences between February and July, while subject to a suspended sentence.

The court was told he had stolen goods from various shops and when police apprehended him on July 24, he refused to cooperate with officers, instead lashing out at them and calling one officer a f****t.

Bill Winsbury admitted an array of offences when he appeared in court. Picture: TikTok / @billwinsbury
Bill Winsbury admitted an array of offences when he appeared in court. Picture: TikTok / @billwinsbury

Magistrates heard on Thursday that his crime spree started in Margate on February 4, when he walked into the Boots store in the high street and swiped £190.95 worth of cosmetic products from inside.

But not content with the haul, Winsbury then returned to the same store later the same day and stole more cosmetics from the shelves, of an unknown value.

The court also heard several days later, on February 10, he went to Canterbury to shoplift and took another £17 worth of cosmetics from the Boots store in the city.

He carried on his thieving spree when nipped into the Superdrug store and took £352.77 of cosmetics inside.

Later the same day he went back into the Superdrug store and this time took an astonishing £588.73 worth of cosmetic products.

Prosecutor Julie Farbrace said later the same day he was out pilfering again.

Winsbury then went into the Marks & Spencer store in the city centre and stole more cosmetic products as well as booze of an unknown value.

He had been spotted by staff and ejected six times, but kept trying to get back into the store to steal.

Workers called the police and when officers tried to arrest him he kicked one and then later damaged a cell at the station.

Ms Farbrace said: “At Canterbury police station more products were found on him as he was searched and he threatened to spit at officers and tried to headbutt one. As he was being restrained, he kicked out and caught an officer on his lower calf.

Bill Winsbury assaulted police and abused them and stole from several shops in Canterbury and Thanet. Picture: TikTok / @billwinsbury
Bill Winsbury assaulted police and abused them and stole from several shops in Canterbury and Thanet. Picture: TikTok / @billwinsbury

“He was put in a cell and had to be constantly watched and then he spat on the cell wall and the officer said in a statement his behaviour and the assault was unacceptable.”

However, after being charged and bailed Winsbury was back out stealing a month later.

On March 27, he walked into the BP petrol station in Canterbury Road, Margate, and made off with two packs of chicken, some Nivea hand cream, Johnson's baby lotion, three packets of ham and three packets of cheese, worth £33.50.

Then on May 31 he stole some Nescafe coffee valued at £25.90 from a Sainsbury's store in Birchington.

After being arrested he was put in a police vehicle in Margate he then damaged the window of the van.

Bill Winsbury was sentenced at Folkestone Magistrates' Court
Bill Winsbury was sentenced at Folkestone Magistrates' Court

Ms Farbrace added: “He made no attempt to pay and when he was put in the police van he kicked a window frame.”

The court was also told Winsbury was living in the Birchington area for several months but was homeless.

He had then managed to obtain accommodation at the The Bay Hotel, in Fort Cresent, Margate. But very soon, he began causing trouble at the venue and even tried to damage the hotel’s front door and gate on June 30.

The prosecutor added: “He was pulling at the gate and swinging it in an attempt to damage it. The hotel owner called the police and he was arrested later.

“The hotel owner said he’d had no end of issues with him and that he’d damaged the hotel brand and ruined guests’ experiences.”

Bill Winsbury getting arrested by police in Margate on July 24. Picture: TikTok / @billwinsbury
Bill Winsbury getting arrested by police in Margate on July 24. Picture: TikTok / @billwinsbury

Then on July 18, Winsbury walked into the Tesco Express in Westbrook, Margate, and picked up six packets of steaks worth £30 and walked out with them.

However, just days later, on July 24, police caught up with him in Margate and arrested him, as seen in the Tiktok footage.

Winsbury again failed to comply with officers’ demands, assaulting two, threatening them and calling one a homophobic name.

Ms Farbrace added: “He threatened to knock out officers and gave them verbal abuse and called one a f****t and then kicked backwards at one officer and hit him on the leg.

“When he started banging his head on a wall, he hit an officer in the face and knocked his glasses off.”

Magistrates also heard when he was charged with the latest offences on July 24 and he appeared in court soon after, he initially pleaded not guilty to some of the offences.

He was remanded in custody on August 3, and when he appeared last week, he changed his plea to guilty over all 17 offences.

Ms Farbrace told the bench he had committed most offences, apart from those in February, while on a suspended sentence he’d been given in March for another dishonesty offence he committed in November last year. He had been given a 60-day sentence which was suspended for 12 months.

She added: “He’s also had all other suspended sentences he’s been given activated before.”

The court also heard that in the future, the police and CPS were considering applying for a criminal behaviour order against Winsbury to try and curb his offending.

Bill Winsbury told magistrates he was going to be famous and feature in a programme on TV
Bill Winsbury told magistrates he was going to be famous and feature in a programme on TV

Paul Shingleton, defending, told magistrates Winsbury accepted he was going to prison.

He said previously he’d been given help from probation to try and stop his offending, but the service had now “washed their hands of him” as he didn’t see eye-to-eye with probation officers.

Mr Shingleton added: “He’s had a difficult few years and had nowhere to live and ended up living on a caravan site in Sandwich for a while, but mostly in 2020 and 2021 he was in prison.

“He says the police officer badmouthed him and he responded, but it was highly inappropriate and he did make that comment.

“He has a transient lifestyle and didn’t fit in at the hotel as he didn’t fit the criteria to stay there.

“He accepts he was very drunk that day at Marks and Spencer when staff made six attempts to stop him from returning to the store.”

The bench also heard Winsbury had been helping other prisoners with their hygiene needs at HMP Elmley while on remand.

Magistrates jailed Winsbury for six months for the offences and also activated the suspended sentence he was on and told him he’d serve another 60 days on top of the six-month stretch.

And as he was being taken down to the cells Winsbury apologised to the court.

He added: “I want to sort myself out soon and literally I am going to be famous as I am going to be on the TV soon and I am writing (raps) every day.”

It is understood Winsbury will be featured in a programe being aired on TV in November about people living in poverty. He told other court staff he will be rapping at the end of each episode shown.

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