A court has fined a serial burglar from Brighton and Hove who was jailed for his part in exposing politician Paddy Ashdown’s affair with his secretary.
Simon Berkowitz, 75, of no fixed address, had been due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court for failing to keep contact with his probation officer.
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”.
The 6ft 1in pensioner was accused of failing to keep an appointment in September and failing to keep in touch with his supervising officer for more than four weeks.
District judge Amanda Kelly authorised an arrest warrant, which was not backed for bail, on Tuesday 28 September.
He was arrested about a fortnight ago and brought before a magistrates’ court in Dorset on Thursday 11 November.
Berkowitz was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £60.
Last Thursday (18 November) the warrant issued to police was formally withdrawn at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
He was also arrested in May after police asked 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.
Berkowitz, 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 other addresses in Brighton and Hove, has hundreds of convictions going back to 1961.
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