Written by Jack Bromby

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A feckless father has been banned from every single Greggs along an entire 13 mile stretch of coastland after going on a six year sausage roll addiction funded by state handouts.

Jobless Mervin Gardener, 25, terrorised police, supermarket security guards, supermarket shelf stackers, Greggs workers and the public after blowing his benefit money on sausage rolls at various supermarkets and Greggs shops in Blackpool and other towns and villages bordering the Lancashire seaside resort.

In the latest incident, Gardener was said to have behaved like a 'wild animal' when he was refused the sale of the rolls, biting a store security guard before kicking a policewoman called to the scene to restrain him.

In previous incidents he abused paramedics trying to help him after he was found collapsed after having withdrawal symptoms - and in another stormed round a taxi rank shouting: 'I'm going to kill someone unless a sausage roll is in my mouth in five minutes.'

Since November 2007 Gardener has been a familiar figure at Blackpool Magistrates Court for his unusual addiction where he was given fines or supervision orders.

He claimed to be getting treatment for his addiction to sausage rolls and vowed to give them up completely.

But a picture posted on his Facebook page only last week showed him stuffing a 6 pack of sausage rolls into his mouth with the message: 'These rolls are so good, I can't stop eating them.'

Today Lancashire Police said Gardener, who has a young daughter, had been issued with a year long 'Category D' Food Banning Order barring him from purchasing processed foods and pastries in all supermarkets across at least 16 different towns and villages across the Fylde Coast.

The order also bans him from Greggs and was imposed as he was jailed for four months after being convicted of two assaults, and breaches of previous court orders after he failed to stop his addiction.

It means he is barred from buying, eating or possessing processed foods or pastries in public and from entering certain supermarket aisles that serve the restricted products covered by the ban.

The FBO will come into force once he is freed from jail. If he is caught inside a restricted supermarket aisle or purchasing banned foods from the black market he faces a maximum fine of £15 and a warning not to do it again.

Blackpool JP Mark Cowburn told him: 'We feel we have a duty to protect the people of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. These offences you have committed and previous offences, show you are a dangerous individual.'

Afterwards the area manager of Tesco said: "This man has been a total menace to our branches up and down the Fylde Coast.

"The problem is he is so obsessed with sausage rolls that he will almost want to kill anyone who gets in his way of buying them.

"What amazes us is how is able to afford so many packs of rolls. He's supposed to be unemployed yet it seems he can gallivant around funding his life of savoury pastry with his welfare handouts. It's a disgrace."

Gardener was initially before the court in November 2007 for disorderly behaviour after he insisted on shouting and swearing in the street - despite pleas from an officer for him to go home.

A woman at a taxi rank was so concerned about Gardener's behaviour she asked a police officer to stay with her until her cab arrived as he yelled: "I'm going to kill someone."

At the time Gardener claimed he was angry because Tesco had sold out of his favourite sausage roll packs and Greggs was closed.

But in June 2009 he was back in court for littering after being seen eating sausage rolls in public, then discarding the packet onto the floor.

The following November Gardener was back in court again after he was again angry at the fact Tesco had sold out of sausage rolls, he began throwing punches in the air and threatened a group of people saying he was going "to kick their heads in".

He promised again he was trying to sort his life out and had been on a pastry foods rehabilitation course.

But in July this year he was invited to a party where sausage rolls were served, he threatened the party guests that he would kill them if they took the sausage rolls, and he ate them all himself in 30 seconds. Police were called and he was arrested for making threats to kill or injure.

The latest incident occurred in the early afternoon of September 29th when police were called to the Asda in Blackpool after Gardener was seen 'bouncing' around on the supermarket floor with a packet of sausage rolls in his hand, stuffing them into his face one by one.

A security guard tried to eject him from the store but he was bitten on the forearm. Police arrived and had to use a strange technique where they lured him to the police van by placing sausage rolls in a line from the aisle to the back of the van.

In mitigation Gardener said he had problems with the police and people in authority when he is refused his pastry cuisine. He was vowing to get more treatment for his addiction.

After the case Sgt Jim Richards, of Blackpool Police said: "Gardener has assaulted two people for doing their jobs. The security guard was trying to restore order in the supermarket by removing Gardener when he started being abusive to the other shoppers around him.

"And then Gardener has assaulted an officer responding to Gardener's assault of the security guard during the lawful execution of her duty.

"These actions are completely unacceptable, and we welcome the magistrates' decision to imprison Gardener. As both of these assaults were fuelled by the pastries, we also sought a Food Banning Order in Category D."

She added: "We will continue to seek Food Banning Orders in a bid to reduce the amount of nourishment-fuelled offenders who are harming others, as they are a great way to protect the public."

Gardener's previous Facebook post read: "I'm getting mad that the people in the supermarket just keep saying they don't have any sausage rolls left because I've eaten them all. F***ing idiots."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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