A thief thought to be Britain’s most convicted criminal has avoided a jail term for his 630th offence.

Patrick Ryan, from Preston in Lancashire, has cost the taxpayer a whopping £3million throughout his 40 year life of crime.

He has racked up £1million in prison costs alone.

The 60-year-old is know as ‘Rogue n’ Nosh’ due to his habit for enjoying slap up meals in Indian restaurants before admiting he cannot pay.

Ryan’s latest offence was for being unable to pay for his breakfast in a cafe and then urinating against the wall, Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard.

He was travelling to Lancashire after a stay in Barlinnie Prison in Scotland when he committed the crime.

PABlackpool Magistrates Court
Convicted again: Patrick Ryan appeared at Blackpool Magistrates Court

Dressed in a hospital gown and white paper suit, Ryan ate a full breakfast at a cafe in Cleveleys, Lancs., before confessing he couldn’t pay for it.

His solicitor Robert Catle told the court: “My client had a travel warrant to get to Preston.

“However, because of the floods, the train stopped at Motherwell and everyone had to get off.

“Alcohol was taken by Mr Ryan and he ended up in hospital before he continued his journey.

“He then arrived in Preston and more drink was taken before he failed to pay for a meal and was arrested.

“He then travelled to Blackpool where he was arrested for the cafe offence and the order breach.”

Wetherspoons Curry Club
Curry club: Ryan is known for eating slap up curries and then admitting he can’t pay

Ryan admitted the crime and also breaching the terms of a sex offenders’ order by failing to register his address.

He was fined £110.

Ryan’s record stretches to almost 100 pages long and police have been forced to put a “do not print out” warning on their computer to save paper.

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Ryan’s record is thought to be the longest by some way.

He has been in an out of custody since the age of 14 and had spent 23 years behind bars before the age of 50.

Home Office figures show a year’s stay in jail costs £45,000 per inmate.

In addition, a recent case of a homeless man, who breached an ASBO around 45 times, was estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £2 million.

Darren CoolThe Cabin
Big breakfast: Ryan had eaten a hearty meal before revealing he couldn’t pay

The Metropolitan Police in London say prolific offenders cost the criminal justice system almsot £80,000 a year.

Rachel Baines, chairman of the Lancashire Police Federation, believes dealing with such high intensity cases is a “massive drain” on the county’s dwindling police service.

She said: “An inordinate amount of time and money is being spent on bringing this offender to justice.

“I couldn’t say for sure just how much this one man has cost. But this is time and money that could be better spent doing other things.

“Police time needs to be prioritised. With falling officer numbers, repeat offenders like this are a massive drain on our resources.”

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