Busker awaits sentence after guilty verdict for burglary

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A 62-year-old man with 54 convictions for more than 100 offences committed since 1963 has been found guilty by a jury of breaking into a Scarborough basement.

Well-known Scarborough busker, William “Billy” Farrell had denied a charge of burglary when he appeared before York Crown Court.

He had also pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault with intent to resist his apprehension by a householder.

However Farrell, of Trafalgar Square, was found guilty of both offences by a jury at York Crown Court.

The case was adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

During the hearing The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Farrell that the report would only go towards the length of the inevitable prison sentence he faced for an offence of burglary involving a confrontation with the householder.

The jury heard how the victim householder heard noises coming from the basement of his Queen Street home on April 14, last year.

He went to investigate and found that Farrell was inside the cellar, piling up bags of hand tools and other items ready for removal.

The householder challenged Farrell but attempts to keep him at the scene failed.

However despite Farrell eventually making his escape by pushing and scuffling with the householder, he was recognised by neighbours and witnesses as “Billy” the busker.

Farrell told the jury that he had not entered the premises to steal, but to find his friend who used the basement to sleep and drink in from time to time.

However the householder and his wife adamantly denied the claim.

Farrell claimed that he had not assaulted he householder who, he said, had pushed him.

The jury was told that one of the latest convictions on Farrell’s record was for climbing up scaffolding and opening the window to a sleeping woman’s home.

On that occasion he also claimed he was just looking for a friend when she confronted him.

Farrell was remanded in custody by Judge Ashurst until he is sentenced in three to four weeks’ time.