Warrant issued for arrest of Brighton burglar behind Paddy Pantsdown exposé

Posted On 09 Oct 2021 at 3:02 pm

A court has issued a warrant for the arrest of a career criminal from Brighton and Hove who was jailed for his part in exposing politician Paddy Ashdown’s affair with his secretary.

Simon Berkowitz

The warrant was issued for Simon Berkowitz, 74, after he failed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

The probation service told the court that Berkowitz had “failed without reasonable excuse to comply with the supervision requirements imposed following release from a period of imprisonment”.

Berkowitz was accused of failing to keep an appointment last month and failing to keep in touch with his supervising officer for more than four weeks.

District judge Amanda Kelly authorised the warrant, which is not backed for bail, on Tuesday 28 September.

Berkowitz was arrested in May after police appealed for help finding him in March when they said that he was wanted for recall to prison for breaching the terms of his latest release licence.

The 6ft 1in pensioner, formerly of Marine Parade, Brighton, and Fourth Avenue, Hove, was jailed for 12 weeks last December for breaching a restraining order.

He was jailed for two and a half years in 1992 for handling stolen goods after trying to sell private papers detailing the former Liberal Democrat leader’s affair with his secretary.

Berkowitz was accused of having stolen the papers in a break in at the politician’s solicitors but cleared of the charge.

The affair was reported under the memorable front-page tabloid headline “Paddy Pantsdown”.

Berkowitz, who has lived at a number of addresses in Brighton and Hove, has hundreds of convictions going back to 1961.

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