London, Jan 29 (ANI): A man in Britain, who has been convicted 578 times, has never seen the inside of a prison because the criminal justice system did not think it was required for him to be jailed for his crimes.
The serial offender has a 50-year record of crime, and he is one of thousands given community sentences every year for crimes including violence and sex attacks.
Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt revealed the case of the man with 578 offences in response to a parliamentary question by Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley.
"This shows that the criminal justice system has become a joke," the Daily Mail quoted Davies as saying.
"Even Crispin Blunt has said that prison should be there not just for serious offenders, but for persistent offenders as well.
"Surely when someone has committed so many crimes, somebody somewhere should say this man is a serious offender?
"Whatever he has done, this man is surely a menace to the community and it beggars belief that he can commit 578 crimes and still not be sent to prison. And of course, these are only crimes that are detected.
"We are probably talking of thousands of crimes here. It shows that, despite what (Justice Secretary) Ken Clarke would have us believe, we have too few people in prison, not too many," he stated.
Latest statistics show that the number of criminals who received non-custodial sentences despite having committed at least 50 offences shot up by a quarter - from 2,800 in 2008 to 3,500 a year later.
"Sentencing in individual cases is rightly a matter for the courts to decide," a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice added. (ANI)