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Man tried to join French Foreign Legion in bid to avoid bad home town influences

Michael Morley

A MARYPORT man who fell back into drug addiction and crime after returning to his home town has had a prison sentence suspended on appeal.

Michael Morley, 31, was jailed for 16 weeks last month after he admitted stealing – and trying to steal – from vehicles in Workington on the night of February 14. Having also pleaded guilty to several shoplifting crimes he was given, in addition, a three-year criminal behaviour order banning him from a host of stores, mainly in Maryport.

Morley’s appeal against that immediate prison term was heard at Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI).

His barrister, Kim Whittlestone, told an appeal panel a probation officer had proposed a tough community sentence as a direct alternative to custody. Miss Whittlestone also suggested Morley, latterly of Senhouse Street, Maryport, had “the potential and ability to rehabilitate himself”.

He had been offence-free between 2012 and 2018. During that time he kicked a drug habit, educated himself and even tried to join the French Foreign Legion while desperately seeking to stay away from bad influences in Maryport. But amid a reluctant return he succumbed again to addiction.

Morley had his prison sentence suspended by the appeal panel. He must complete a six-month drug rehabilitation order, a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days and 80 hours’ unpaid work.

Recorder David Potter said: “This is very much now in your best interests to capitalise on the efforts made between 2012 and 2018 to make sure you get the help and assistance you so desperately need.”

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