A WANTED criminal was caught and appeared before the courts 24 hours after his mugshot appeared on the front page of the Evening Mail.
On Wednesday we launched a new campaign in partnership with police to track down South Cumbria’s most wanted suspects.
The pictures of two men wanted by police were featured and yesterday one of them, 40-year-old Craig Holman, appeared before Furness Magistrates’ Court and admitted drug possession.
The other wanted man, Jason Williams, is still at large but police have received dozens of calls and are following up several leads.
Detective Inspector Graham Coles said it was as a direct result of the joint campaign that Holman turned himself in.
He added: “We had a large volume of calls from the public as to the whereabouts of the people featured in the Evening Mail article.
“As a result of one call we got in touch with Mr Holman and he handed himself in.
“It was a very good result and we are following up other calls that came in about Mr Williams.
“We would still ask anyone with information about him to contact us.”
Magistrates heard yesterday how a warrant had been issued for Holman’s arrest after he failed to appear at court on July 23 for a drug charge.
He pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and breaching his bail.
Miss Lisa O’Loughlin, prosecuting, said: “On May 11 a police community support officer on duty in Ormsgill witnessed the exchange of a package between two men, one of those men was Mr Holman.
“She suspected it was a drug deal and alerted police officers. Mr Holman was arrested and found with £10 worth of cannabis in his possession. He freely admitted it was for his own personal use, but refused to give the name of his dealer.”
Holman was then released on unconditional bail and told he must appear in court at a later date.
Mr Andrew Gibson, defending, said: “He has admitted the cannabis was for his own personal use. The offence happened on May 11 and there was a long period of time between then and his court appearance. He was evicted from his home in Angle Meadow Lane during that time and lost all of the paperwork regarding the offence. He thought he was due in court on July 28.
“Mr Holman turned up at court on July 28, but he was told to go home as a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
“The police rang his mobile and said ‘have you seen the Evening Mail? Your picture is on the front.’
“After this Mr Holman went to the police station and turned himself in.”
Yesterday Holman was fined £60 for possession of cannabis. No separate penalty was given for the breach of bail. Presiding magistrate Mr Keith Butcher said: “If this happens again the court might not be so lenient with you.”
The campaign to track down south Cumbria’s most wanted suspects will be a regular feature in the Evening Mail.