Cowardly criminals found hiding from the law

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Cowardly criminals desperate to avoid justice will often try to run away from the police.

But sometimes they decide the best option is to try and hide, believing they might just get away with it.

Unfortunately for this collection of crooks, officers were able to find them cowering in a variety of locations.

From a despicable woman beater to burglars who broke into people's homes, they all decided to try their luck.

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And the details of their bungled efforts were later laid bare in court.

Here the ECHO takes a look at their hiding places of choice and how that worked out for them in the long run.

Alan Bell

Thief Alan Bell, 46, of no fixed abode was founding inside the bed of someone he tried to burgle by Police Dog Deema

Serial burglar Alan Bell was found cowering inside a bed at a house he intended to ransack.

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Police responded to a report of a burglary at a home in Spekeland Road, Edge Hill in the early hours, in December 2018.

They found the rear patio door smashed and items including an Xbox and games bagged up throughout the house.

Police dog Deema discovered the drug addict was still at the scene and had jumped inside an Ottoman bed to hide.

This is the bed under which serial burglar Alan Bell was found hiding by a Merseyside Police Dog.

The 46-year-old, of Prescot Road, Old Swan, had 25 previous convictions for 71 offences, including 17 burglaries.

Bell was previously jailed for 18 months in 2017 after being found responsible for an "epidemic" of bar and restaurant raids.

The dad-of-two received a jail sentence of two years and four months in January 2018 over the failed Edge Hill break-in.

He was then locked up for a further 18 months in June 2018, having admitted yet another spree of burglaries.

Ben Hoofe

Ben Hoofe battered his ex-girlfriend in a cowardly attack

Ben Hoofe headbutted his ex-partner but was caught by police cowering in her kitchen cupboard.

The "jealous and possessive" yob also repeatedly punched the woman at her St Helens home.

When she begged him not to take her iPhone and cash, he simply replied: "I'm going to jail anyway."

However, when the cowardly 33-year-old was eventually arrested, officers found him hiding at her flat.

The couple split up in January 2019 and Hoofe was handed a restraining order on March 25 last year.

He received a community order on October 21 for twice breaching the order, but within eight days did so again.

The pair had amicably discussed getting back together at a hairdressers, but on November 2 things changed.

Hoofe was waiting in a car park near her flat in Prescot Road, when she got home at around 10.30pm.

The drunken lout said he wanted to talk, but once inside he grabbed her hair and started punched her.

He headbutted her, leaving her with a cut to her nose and bruising, then fled and remained at large until March 13.

Prosecutors said that day officers went to her home and found Hoofe "hiding in a cupboard".

He admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and two counts of breaching a restraining order.

Hoofe, of School Way, Wigan, was jailed for 16 months in April.

Carl Parkinson

Carl Parkinson, 34, of no fixed address, admitted burglary, theft, attempted theft, fraud and assault causing actual bodily harm

Carl Parkinson stole sentimental photographs when he burgled the homes of a young family and an elderly couple.

The crack cocaine addict embarked on a one-man crime wave while on licence after being released from jail in 2018.

The 34-year-old was only stopped when a policeman caught him hiding in a shed and he sunk his teeth into the officer's arm.

Parkinson, who has 32 previous convictions for 90 offences, used trains to target homes and property close to railway stations.

He was caught on CCTV trying to get into cars in Maghull and Kirkdale, then burgled an elderly couple's home in Birkdale.

A 75-year-old woman had just got back from church, put her handbag down and went upstairs, while her husband was gardening.

They had left a door open and he took the bag, including a mobile phone, containing treasured family photographs "lost forever".

He also raided a family's home in Crosby, taking items including a wallet, containing an "irreplaceable" picture of the victim with a deceased friend.

Parkinson, who admitted multiple burglaries, thefts, fraud and assault, was previously jailed for four and a half years in 2009.

That was for breaking into a family's home on a seven-year-old boy’s birthday and stealing his presents.

The career criminal was jailed for five years in November 2018.

David Bennett

David Bennett, 41, of Livingstone Avenue, Aigburth

David Bennett bashed a brave Co-op worker in the head with a brick when he tried to stop his persistent shoplifting.

Kevin Cross chased the prolific thief after he stole from his Lark Lane store for the eighth time in just over a month.

But when he cornered the drug addict at a block of flats, Bennett grabbed a half brick and repeatedly lashed out.

The 41-year-old, of Livingston Avenue, Aigburth, left his victim with blood pouring from the back of his head.

Prosecutors said Mr Cross shouted: "Look what's happened! Just give me the bag and I won't phone the police."

However, Christopher Taylor, prosecuting, said: "This defendant replied, quite tellingly, 'I can't. I've got to have it'."

Bennett struck at the supermarket from September 2 to October 4 last year, on one occasion headbutting Mr Cross.

During another incident he struggled with Mr Cross and assaulted him, but the worst came on October 4, at around 1.20pm.

He fled with £60 of meat and was found hiding behind bushes near wheelie bins, at an enclosed courtyard in Bloomfield Court.

Bennett hit his victim three times, which caused him to "bleed considerably", but Mr Cross wrestled the brick off him.

He admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, two common assaults, eight counts of theft, and breaching a conditional discharge.

The crook, who had 33 previous convictions for 72 offences, was jailed for 20 months in November 2019.

Ian Cooper

Ian Cooper, 46, of Arkle Road, Bidston, Wirral

One man crimewave Ian Cooper was caught hiding in a loft after a near £23,000 raid on a family home.

The 46-year-old, of Arkle Road, Bidston, Wirral, has 55 previous convictions for a shocking 130 offences.

Police caught him with 13 crack cocaine wraps and 20 heroin wraps up his bottom on September 6, 2018.

He was bailed but on March 9 last year led police on a 70mph chase across Birkenhead in a Volkswagen Golf.

Cooper shot through a red light, nearly hit two vehicles, ignored a no entry sign and crashed into an oncoming car.

He fled, but was caught nearby and found to be high on cocaine. He was banned from driving at the time.

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Cooper and two other men struck at a house in Bebington overnight on April 4, taking £1,000 of items.

They stole the keys to three cars, one which was written off, another recovered, and the third never traced.

Cooper, who put stolen false plates on the car that disappeared, used stolen bank cards to spend around £175.

The prolific burglar – found cowering in the loft on April 10 – pleaded guilty to dealing both heroin and crack cocaine.

He admitted burglary, dangerous driving, disqualified driving, drug driving and driving without insurance.

Cooper was jailed for eight years and three months last September.

Peter McNoon

Teenage burglar Peter McNoon, 18, of Norman Street, Birkenhead, was part of a gang who stole a car, gadgets – and ice cream – during two burglaries

Teenage burglar Peter McNoon fled from a stolen car after a police chase but was found hiding nearby – in a wheelie bin.

A police dog led handlers to the bin, leaving the 18-year-old, of Norman Street, Birkenhead, to plead: "Don't let the dog bite me."

He went on to tell police: “I’m sorry, they made me do it, I owed them money.”

His three accomplices had fled the scene in Bebington, Wirral, leaving him to face the music alone, on October 24, 2018.

McNoon was part of a gang of four who burgled a house in Dibbens Hey, Bromborough, while its unsuspecting occupants slept.

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As well as swiping the owner's Volkswagen Golf after finding his keys, they also bizarrely took some ice cream.

The gang then broke into a house in Stevenson Drive, Spital, again while the residents were sleeping.

Prosecutors said that as well as car keys they took two Xboxes, two laptops, a mobile phone and a Playstation.

Police later spotted the burglary team in the Golf and followed it until it came to a halt in Eversleigh Drive, Bebington, and the offenders fled with only McNoon being tracked down.

He admitted two burglaries on the basis he was the look-out on both occasions and was jailed for two years.

Marshall Tung

Marshall Tung, 30, of no fixed address, jailed for three years after he admitted 11 burglaries across Liverpool

A crook who burgled 11 properties to fund his cannabis habit was once found hiding in a tree.

Marshall Tung, 30, broke into homes and sneaked his way inside restaurants, bars, hotels, clubs and shops across Liverpool.

CCTV showed Tung, of no fixed address, struck at Alma de Cuba in November 2016, when he helped himself to a HTC mobile phone.

He also took a £320 iPad from a worker at Millets in Ranelagh Street that month and in January 2017 stole £80 in cash from Castle Bar.

Tung took £16 from a student flat in Mount Pleasant that February then £500 from a till at Sefton Park Cricket Club in March 2017.

A waitress at Siam Garden in Smithdown Road discovered Tung had taken £485 from her coat that same week.

Three days later he made off with an iMac computer and Canon camera from a flat in Parliament Street, but left his fingerprints.

The burglar stole four bottles of champagne when he hit Meet Argentinian Restaurant in April 2017.

He and his cousin Daniel Tung crept into The Masonic Hall the next day, before fleeing with whiskey and gin.

The pair then stole a £500 Dell laptop and a housekeeping pass from The Arthouse.

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That April, Tung smashed a window at a student's home in Cornwallis Street, taking her Toshiba laptop and £350.

Police caught him red handed as he ran down Cummings Street and he later admitted all of the burglaries.

Tung's 27 past convictions for 73 offences included burgling seven homes, dating back to 2002, when he was 15.

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He broke out of jail in 2015, then told police he was blowing his nose on a leaf when caught hiding behind a tree.

Tung was jailed for three years for the spate of burglaries in November 2017.

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