Town’s ‘George Best’ jailed

In court, Thomas Dudley was compared to footy hero George Best - but only because of his battle with booze. He was jailed for offences including spitting on a fast food worker.
In court, Thomas Dudley was compared to footy hero George Best - but only because of his battle with booze. He was jailed for offences including spitting on a fast food worker.

One is a legendary footballer, whose Champagne lifestyle saw him date Miss Worlds and grace the bedroom walls of millions of teenage girls.

The other is known for smearing his mess over a Scarborough shop.

But known nuisance Thomas Dudley drew comparisons to George Best in court, not for his soccer wizardry, but for his hopeless battle with the bottle.

The 32-year-old was hauled into court over a string of offences, including spitting on a McDonalds worker who had tried to boot him out for begging.

And after suffering an 
apparent seizure, he was arrested when he threatened police during a foul-mouthed rant.

Scarborough magistrates heard how his behaviour had been brought on by a crippling addiction to booze, with Dudley consuming up to nine litres of strong cider a day, even mixing it with Special Brew.

And in comparing Dudley to the Manchester United legend, solicitor Robert Vining said the Trafalgar Street resident, like Best, will “never be free” of his addiction.

“If he had been a world famous footballer he probably would have been in the Priory paying £5,000 per week to have things inserted in his stomach,” said Mr Vining in mitigation.

“But I’m long enough in the tooth to remember a fresh faced George Best, and he went to the Priory and it didn’t help,” adding that Mr Dudley knows he faces a similar fate to Best, who lost his life because of his addiction.

Dudley, who has previous convictions including assaulting a paramedic and smearing waste over the Clarks shoe shop, admitted multiple offences at the heading.

And even the Probation Service admitted they had lost patience with Dudley, adding “no progress” was being made and that two workers were needed for each session due to his aggression.

Despite recently getting his own property, something Mr Vining said was a personal “nirvana” for him, magistrates said they had no option but to jail him.

He was jailed for a total of 20 weeks for a trio of offences.