The courts see a whole host of criminals, accused and convicted of all kinds of offences. Some are remorseful, accept their guilt and wish to make amends.
Others deny they were involved, and claim either duration, blame vices such as drugs and alcohol, or refuse to speak at all. But there are a select few who brazenly confess, making clear their feelings about what they have done.
Here the Manchester Evening News looks back on offenders who made confessions and outbursts after their crimes – from matter-of-fact to downright disturbing.
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‘Yes, I’ve done it again’
Benjamin Behan admitted to his family that he had ‘done it again’ after being caught out by paedophile hunters. The 25-year-old had been ordered to undergo the Horizon scheme, which aims to rehabilitate sex offenders and change their warped outlook, after being found with vile images of children.
But Behan, from Wythenshawe said it was a ‘load of cr**’. He claimed that sessions being moved online during the pandemic made them more difficult for him to follow.
“He didn’t engage with it as best he could have done,” Behan’s barrister Mark Shanks told Manchester Crown Court. Despite attempts to help him reform, Behan has now been locked up after he once again displayed a sexual interest in children. He was exposed by paedophile hunters, with a decoy account being set up in the name of a 14-year-old girl.
Behan told her he was a head chef at a pub, and the pair had some ‘innocuous’ chat about coronavirus before he turned the sexual conversation. He suggested that they could go to a hotel room, and asked whether she wanted to be naked in bed with him, prosecutor Amanda Johnson said.
Behan asked the ‘girl’ how long it would take her to get undressed, during online conversations over a two day period. Members of the paedophile hunter group went to confront Behan at his home, and his stepfather answered the door.
“Yes, I’ve done it again,” Behan admitted to his stepfather. Behan, of Inglesham Close, Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act. He was jailed for 16 months in March this year.
‘I’m downloading indecent images of children – I’ve been doing it since 1998’
Bill Platt, 59, was found to be in possession of an ‘enormous’ amount of the vile pictures and videos of children, aged from babies up to 16-years-old. I have admitted to the police that I have been doing it since 1998.
Police had gleaned information that Platt, of Worsleywas downloading indecent images of children, and conducted a search at his house on June 24 2019. He was arrested and handed over the PIN codes to his various devices, Manchester Crown Court heard.
“He was asked about his computer and he said: “I’m downloading indecent images of children”, and said it had been going on since 1998 and said he was ‘relieved’”, prosecutor Roger Brown said. “There were examinations of the devices, the total number of category A images was 15,690, the total number of category B images was 15,753 and the total number of category C images was 837,729.”
In his police interview, Platt spoke about the ages of the children in the images depicted to be aged from babies to children aged 16. A judge told him: “This was a substantial collection of sickening images depicting the rape and sexual abuse of children. ”
In March Platt, of Gambleside Close, he was handed 20 months imprisonment which was suspended for two years, 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and 200 hours of unpaid work. He earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of indecent images.
He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years which includes terms that will ban his from using the internet without informing the police and ban him from downloading any software which hides his internet history. He must also sign the notification requirements on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.
‘I will stick it in your head’
Louis Williams threatened to kill his brother. He then rang 999 and said he wanted to go to prison for ‘killing a police officer’ or a ‘random citizen’.
The 32-year-old became enraged as he downed whiskey and cider, and accused his mother of stealing money from him. He then started punching holes in the wall and in a door, as his anger increased in the one bedroom flat he shared with his brother and mum.
The pair tried to placate Williams by giving him money, but he only became more incensed. At one point his brother noticed a meat cleaver, which he’d never seen before.
“I will stick it in your head, don’t even look at me or I will stick it in your head,” Williams, from Gorton, told his sibling. His brother of him ‘froze’ in his seat after the chilling threat was issued, during the incident on November 1 last year.
Then Williams ‘bizarrely’ began calling 999, making repeated calls and making threats to operators, prosecutor Paul Treble told Manchester Crown Court. He made threats to kill police officers, and at one stage said ‘he wanted to go to prison for killing a police officer or even killing a random citizen’, the barrister said.
Williams, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in March after he pleaded guilty to making threats to kill, criminal damage and malicious communications.
‘I’ve just t****** my dad’
Shaun Jenner, 39, snapped and twice struck his dad in the face after a drunken argument. He was left bloodied and bruised with a broken cheekbone.
The 39-year-old civil engineer from Tameside messaged a pal afterwards on Facebook: “I’ve just t*****d my dad” with a crying emoji before posting another message saying: ”He kicked off with me first though.” He then posted a picture of the victim sat on his sofa with blood pouring from his wounds.
The incident happened on October 17 last year after Jenner had spent much of the lockdown on furlough and looking after his father who was said to be in poor health.
Inquiries revealed in the hours and days before the assault, both men had been drinking heavily and ”bickering.” Jenner had also been sending emotionally-charged text messages to another friend saying: ”My dad leaves s*** all over the place. I’m sat here now being sick.
”I tried to help him get from the front room to the bedroom and he lost his temper. I told him to ‘f*** off’ but he said he would smash my nose in. I told him if he said anything like that to me again, I will cut his ears off.”
He then punched him twice to the face. His father was taken to hospital where he was found to have a fractured cheekbone, bruising and swelling to his face and other injuries.
Jenner, of Stamford Drive, Stalybridgefaced jail after he admitted causing grievous bodily harm but he was given 19 months jail suspended for two years after he apologized to his father and admitted he was ”ashamed of himself.”
He was also ordered to complete a nine-month alcohol treatment programme, ten Rehabilitation Requirement Days and 120 hours unpaid work in March this year.
‘I think I’ve got a f****** grenade’
Joseph Gray made a shocking admission to armed police after being arrested. The 56-year-old was arrested as part of Operation Brooks, a covered investigation into an organized crime group who were dealing class B drugs from the north west into Nottinghamshire.
As officers surrounded the car, they smashed the window and ordered him to show his hands before asking if he had ‘anything he shouldn’t have’ on him. Gray replied ‘yes’, and was asked by the officer: “What do you have on you at the moment?”
He then admitted: “I think it’s a f******* grenade”. When asked to confirm, he also admitted to having a gun. The officer then asked him where they were and he replied nonchalantly, ‘in my pocket and my arm here’ before he was searched.
Removing the grenade, which appeared to be wrapped in bubble wrap, the officer said: “Yes, that is a grenade.”
A further search of the car revealed vacuum packed bags of cannabis and cash hidden in a sports bag. The grenade was later detonated at the scene.
Gray worked as a drugs courier for drug kingpin Jonathan Walsh, Manchester Crown Court heard. Grey, of Hopgarth Walk, Manchester, pleaded guilty to firearm offences, conspiracy to supply drugs and money laundering and was jailed for eight-and-a-half years in February this year.
‘I can do a lot worse than that’
Richard Fone raped a woman in the disabled toilets of a hospital. He claimed he was ‘too sexually aroused to stop’.
While he was there, he appeared to be upset and began crying. The woman comforted him, and shortly after she agreed to have sex with him.
But when they got into the toilet, Fone, 29, became ‘aggressive’ towards her. He began demanding that she perform oral sex on him, and he continued making aggressive requests from her despite her refusals from her.
He then got on top of her and raped her. She told him to stop and tried to hit Fone, but he ignored her protests from her. After the attack last year, she told Fone: “Do you realize what’s just happened, that could be classed as rape?”
“I know,” he replied. She contacted Fone to reproach him about the attack. “Yeah we f*****,” he said in response. She replied: “No, you assaulted me, you even admitted it.”
“Yeah well I can do a lot worse than that,” he replied in a disturbing threat, prosecutor Rachel White said. Fone, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, denied rape but was convicted by a jury. I have claimed that the sex was consensual.
Fone, of Station Road, Swinton, was sentenced to a ‘hybrid’ order, including treatment in hospital, and a seven year prison sentence with an extended license period of two years in March this year.
‘Only living in a cave with no electricity would stop me’
Paedophile Edward Thornton has a long history of previous convictions for downloading indecent images of children. He was found to have amassed more than 14,000 ‘revolting files’, some involving the rape of babies and torture of toddlers.
The 33-year-old has twice previously been caught by police with sickening stashes of indecent images. He told a judge he was ‘addicted’.
When asked how he would stop he said very candidly, ‘in a cave with no electricity’ Thornton, of Meadowfield Close, Rock Ferry, Wirral, was first sentenced over indecent photos of children in December 2008, when he was handed 11 months in prison suspended for two years.
In July 2014, for possessing and sharing child sex abuse images and 11 breaches of a Sexual Offenses Prevention Order (SHPO), he was jailed for three years. He was given an updated Sexual Harm Prevention Order, but within months of being released from jail in 2016, he started hoarding sick files again.
Thornton was jailed for five years in December last year, after officers found more of the images.
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