BURGLAR James Marson was jailed for four and a half years for callous raids on independent Worcester businesses. He wrote letters of apology to his victims.

This unusual gesture might be seen as a commendable expression of remorse. In Marson's case it appeared to be anything but. He argued with his own barrister, a woman of utmost patience and professionalism. He muttered. He shook his head. He folded his arms.

Last of all, he rudely stormed out of the videolink booth when jailed by Judge Robert Juckes QC. This is not the body language of contrition but the petulant defiance of an overgrown child who would rather steal from the hard-working people of Worcester than earn an honest penny himself.

Marson described himself to his barrister as the 'black sheep of the family'.

But this career criminal might better be described as a waste of space, of oxygen, of skin. Like many criminals he only really feels sorry for himself, not his victims. In prison perhaps he will find the time to reflect on this misery he has caused (though it hasn't worked so far).