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One-man crime wave evicted from estate

PUBLISHED: 15:43 19 May 2010 | UPDATED: 11:42 23 August 2010

BOARDED-UP: Reader’s home after the eviction.

BOARDED-UP: Reader's home after the eviction.

A PROLIFIC and persistent criminal who terrorised a housing estate committing 120 offences has been jailed after stealing a wheelchair. Andrew Reader, described by police as a one-man crime wave will behind bars for 13 months after being caught steal

A "PROLIFIC and persistent" criminal who terrorised a housing estate committing 120 offences has been jailed after stealing a wheelchair.

Andrew Reader, described by police as "a one-man crime wave" will behind bars for 13 months after being caught stealing the chair from the minor injuries clinic in Bath Street, Gravesend.

Appearing in Dartford Magistrates Court on Friday, Reader, formerly of Queens Road, Gravesend, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft.

It was an eventful week for the 37-year-old who holds 55 criminal convictions for offences including burglary, theft and violence, witness intimidation, false imprisonment, carrying offensive weapons and assaults, after he was evicted from a council-owned property on Tuesday, May 11.

Reader was thrown out of his home by council officials and Kent police officers after being adjudged to have no legal right to remain in the property.

Councillor Anthony Pritchard, Gravesham Borough Council cabinet member for housing, said: "This case sends a message to our tenants that we will not tolerate those who prey on their neighbours and blight the lives of the others in the community.

"Eviction is the ultimate sanction but we will not shy away from it when necessary for the sake of the vast majority of tenants who are honest and decent."

A spokesman for the council said the council house belonged to his mother but following her death his application to inherit the home was rejected.

They have no duty to re-house him and banned him from staying in any other property owned by Gravesham.

Councillor John Cubitt, cabinet member for community safety, said: "The eviction should reassure everyone that the council means business in dealing with serial criminals."

Letters were distributed to neighbours on the estate prior to the eviction on May 11.

Chief Inspector Phil Painter of North Kent police said: "We are pleased to have assisted in the eviction of a prolific and persistent offender whose criminal activities impacted terribly on the community.

"We are glad that partnership work between the police and the council can produce the right results and is another step in making Kings Farm estate a much safer place.

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