Homeless doorstep trader reported by Derbyshire homeowners fled police

A homeless man struggling with a crack addiction fled police when Derbyshire householders reported him selling door-to-door from a large black hold-all.

Friday, 17th June 2022, 1:52 pm

Philip Chapman, 30, had been “extensively homeless” and had taken to doorstep trading to “support himself with food” when officers appeared during one of his rounds.

On February 9 a flustered homeowner on Rowsley’s upmarket Chatsworth Road reported a “door-to-door sales person”, prosecutor Pardeep Kalyan told Chesterfield Magistrates Court.

Mr Kalyan said: “The victim came to the door - where a male with a big black hold-all was trying to make sales.”

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Homeowners on Rowsley’s upmarket Chatsworth Road reported Chapman going door-to-door

The prosecutor said police found Chapman nearby - where he admitted trading without a pedlars licence.

However he then lashed out at a police officer, causing her to fall to the floor, and ran off.

Two weeks later Chapman was again reported by residents on Matlock’s rustic Old Hackney Lane - this time sporting a large rucksack along with another male.

Mr Kalyan said: “Police were called about a male trying to sell goods – they arrived and saw the defendant.

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“There had been a spate of burglaries in the area but there is no suggestion this male was involved.

“He confirmed he didn’t have a pedlars licence – the goods he had were seized and he was taken to the police station.”

John Wilford, defending Chapman, said after his arrest Chapman apologised “immediately” to officers.

He said: “Having been stopped, he was concerned about the search because he had crack cocaine in his possession.”

Mr Wilford noted Chapman, appearing via video link from HMP Ranby, had a criminal record “of some length” however “there had been gaps”.

He said: “He was extensively homeless and had an issue with drugs and crack cocaine at this time.

“He was trying to make money to support himself with food but the drug habit was causing him issues - that’s where the peddling matter came from.

"It’s quite clear he immediately apologised to police officers.”

Chapman, of no fixed abode, admitted peddling without a licence.

Magistrates, keen to give him a fresh start, imposed a one-day jail term.

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