‘Lonely’ caged burglar seeks company

Billy the Busker, also known as William Farrell, who is seeking a prison pen pal
Billy the Busker, also known as William Farrell, who is seeking a prison pen pal

Well known musician, GSOH, aged 63 but going on 40, seeks a non-smoking companion who enjoys reading the bible - and doesn’t mind the fact he’s a “prolific” burglar.

In a rambling letter from jail to The Scarborough News, caged burglar William “Billy” Farrell has asked for an advert to be placed in our “relationship column”, due to his loneliness in his Northallerton cell.

Farrell, better known in the town as guitar strumming ‘Billy the Busker’, claims that he’s become a “role model prisoner” since he was caged for three years in February this year.

“I’ve stopped smoking and drinking and abusing my medication, “ said Farrell, a career criminal, who has committed over 100 offences over the past 50 years.

“I’ve read the New Testament and Psalms from beginning to end - and I visit the multi-faith chapel.”

He boasts about an appearance on the TV for his busking, which he used to carry out at the entrance to the Balmoral Centre.

And he cockily brags about the “three star” conditions of his plush jail, with its “en suite” facilities.

And with so many families scrimping and saving just to survive, he admits “the taxpayer wouldn’t be too pleased” to hear about his cushy new home.

“The food is great, even with Mr Cameron’s cut backs - everybody must be feeling the squeeze out there,” says Farrell.

He adds that since his imprisonment, he’s been working inside the jail - and has even been awarded a Mars bar for winning ‘cleaner of the month’.

Formerly of Trafalgar Square, the 63-year-old was found guilty by a jury of breaking into the basement of a Scarborough house and assault with intent to resist his apprehension by the householder.

He was described in court not as the “harmless eccentric” he likes to portray, but a “prolific offender”, who had previously been convicted of climbing up scaffolding and opening the window to a sleeping woman’s home.

In his appeal for a pen pal, he says that he’s a “fine catch for any literate lady (or) gentleman”, adding that he’s “clean and tidy, fit and healthy”.

However, one person who is probably unlikely to write to him is the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst.

Jailing him earlier this year for his crimes, Judge Ashurst said that he was not fooled by Farrell, and that he was “not persuaded that he was a harmless eccentric, but remained a prolific offender”.