Conman locked up for 16 months

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A SEX offender and thug who took on a fake identity to start a new life in England has been locked up for a total of 16 months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Lithuanian robber Stasys Baranauskas, who had a record for conning the authorities, had been convicted of flashing in Northern Ireland and should have told police he had moved.

Baranauskas was also wanted on warrant after attacking a housemate with a golf club in Burnley almost six years ago and then fleeing. He didn’t want to be arrested and so set about a sophisticated campaign of trickery using false identification documents to try stay in England undetected.

Baranauskas, who was also banned in Northern Ireland and wanted to drive in this country, applied to get a national insurance number using false details. When police finally caught up with him last December, he gave a false name in custody but was caught out by his fingerprints.

The defendant (24), of Manor Street, Nelson, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, failing to comply with the sex offenders’ register, obstructing police, two counts of possessing false identification documents and one of making a false representation. He had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.

Mr Mark Stuart (prosecuting), said on July 12th, 2006, drunken Baranauskas hit a man on the arm and the head with a golf club, inflicting a gash on his forehead. He threatened his victim not to tell police, but the man did and Baranauskas was arrested 10 days later. He did not turn up for court and a warrant was issued.

On November 22nd last year, the defendant, who had been in Northern Ireland and had got sent to prison, went to the Jobcentreplus in Preston and made an application for a national insurance number, giving another name and date of birth. He was to use the same con a couple of weeks later. In support of the application, he produced a driving licence and national identification card in the false name.

Mr Stuart said the Department for Work and Pensions later alerted the police and Baranauskas was arrested last December 8th, gave a false name but fingerprints revealed who he really was.

The hearing was told in October, 2010, the defendant had been put on the sex offenders’ register for seven years in Northern Ireland after being convicted of exposure and was supposed to report any new address to the police within three days.

Mr Stuart continued: “He had been back in this country since at least November 22nd, if not for considerably longer than that, and failed to notify the police of a change of address.”

The prosecutor added Baranauskas made no comment when questioned. He had a conviction for robbery in Lithuania in 2008, had a record for assault and using false identification documents in Northern Ireland in February and October, 2010 and had been sent to custody. He has been remand in East Lancashire since last December 8th.

Mr Neil Fryman, for the defendant, said he used the documents because he wanted to settle down and get a legitimate job and earn money. The barrister said : “It wasn’t to live off the state. It wasn’t for him to commit further criminal offences.”

Baranauskas knew if he did not give false details, he would have been picked up on the warrant from 2006. Mr Fryman continued: “He has tried to make a fresh start for himself. That’s to his credit, but he’s gone about it in the wrong way.”

Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell told the defendant: “The authorities, whosoever they are, need to know who is here, who is applying for what national insurance number and they need to know people’s whereabouts. You made a sophisticated and professional attempt to avoid giving your identification.”