Paying the price

Date published: 29 April 2015

A DERKER man could be the only person in the country, perhaps the world, to be banned from using coin-operated machines.

Russell Stansfield, who has a long history of petty thefts, was given a Criminal Behavioural Order — given to persistent offenders to address the causes of their behaviour.

Stansfield had been caught stealing money from a parking meter in Bury earlier this year and admits a history of similar offences.

The many conditions of his order are intended to stop him using any coin-operated machine, and he is banned from the Trafford Centre and its car parks and any airport or its car parks - unless he can prove he is travelling.

He is also banned from using pay phones - except for emergency services; and if he is using Metrolink he must buy a ticket then move away from the machine.

The order and restrictions dished out at Bury Magistrates’ Court last until February 2020.

“It’s just weird, if I’m honest, there are so many things I can’t do,” he said. “If I’m at the hospital for hours, for example, I can’t buy food from the machines.”

But he admitted the order could also be a blessing: “At least I have an excuse not to pay for things,” he joked.

“I think I might be the only person in the country with this bizarre restriction, maybe even the world.”

Despite being able to see the funny side, Stansfield, who is unemployed, has shown remorse for his crimes: “I am sorry for what I did. It was a means of survival. I was desperate and going through a tough time.”