Brit expat arrested at airport for 2004 burglary

Published:  18 Jul at 6 PM
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A Brit expat convicted of burglary 14 years ago was arrested on his return to the UK for his uncle’s birthday bash.

Some 14 years after the burglary and now married with a child as well as his own construction business in Australia, Lloyde Walmsley decided to fly back to the UK to attend a surprise birthday party given for his uncle. On arrival at the airport, his past finally caught up with him and he was arrested by West Midlands police. Sentenced to 12 months’ community service, he was told he could not return to his family in Australia until he’d completed his sentence.

Walmsley had pleaded guilty to burglary and car theft in 2004, but his accomplice Nicholls denied any participation in the crimes, thus causing the case to be adjourned for trial at a later date. Six months later, having finally admitted his guilt, Nicholls was jailed for four years, but Walmsley failed to attend court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Two years later, he was found guilty of a public order offence, but the arrest warrant wasn’t activated. The dreaded knock on the door failed to materialise, leaving him free to emigrate to Australia in 2008.

The prosecutor reminded the court about the original 2004 burglary, saying the couple whose home was targeted had been woken up by noises and, when they investigated, the pair fled with the keys to their car, driving it and their own car away and crashing into another car a few miles down the road. The defendant’s lawyer asked for clemency, saying his client was scared about possibly not being allowed to go back should he be given a jail sentence and adding alcohol had played a strong part in his life at the time of the burglary. Luckily for Walmsley, the judge took his side, saying he believes he is a very different man than when he committed the burglary and adding the case is exceptional due to the manner in which the accused changed his life subsequent to his arrival in Australia.
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