Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Mail Asks: Is this Britain's Worst Family

Here we read the delightful story of the Shackleton family. A brief summary:

A mother whose notorious family were dubbed the worst in Britain for amassing close to 250 criminal convictions was facing jail yesterday over an £85,000 benefits swindle.

Until last year Shackleton, who has the names of her three sons, Gary, Mark and Paul Alderson, tattooed on her arms, lived in Benwell, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

But after the Shackletons racked up 40 arrests between them in less than six months Shackleton, her children and partner, Colin Alderson, became the first in the area to be evicted from a private property in July last year.

Whilst Shackleton herself has a lengthy list of 21 shoplifting convictions to her name, her partner and her children's stepfather has criminal record stretching back 30 years and includes 21 offences, including attacking police officers, burglary and drunken disorder.

Her eldest son, Mark, is the most prolific of the three brothers with 92 convictions.

His criminal record dates back to 1994, when at the age of 14 he was convicted of burglary, vehicle interference, theft of a car and driving without a licence or insurance.

The 28-year-old also has a string of convictions for common assault and has spent time in jail.

His sibling, Paul, 26, was convicted of dwelling house burglary in 1993, when he was 12.

In 2000, he was found guilty of going equipped to steal, two counts of criminal damage, a public order offence, perverting the course of justice, breaching a conditional discharge and a string of driving offences.

The 21-year-old got his first conviction at the age of 11 for burglary and has not looked back since.

His offences range from being found on enclosed premises to possession of cannabis.

He became notorious for tearing around in stolen cars and hurling drunken abuse at passers-by.

Having lived in the UK and seen some of the competition, I don't think this is Britain's worst family. I doubt it's in the top 5,000.

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