Notorious Portsmouth car criminal facing jail after stealing £20,000 firearms from car

NOTORIOUS ‘petty’ car criminal Christopher Walker went on the run after breaking into a car and seizing its contents – only to find out he had pinched £20,000 worth of rifles.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 4:42 pm

But the fugitive, dubbed Portsmouth’s worst car thief after numerous raids that have landed him in jail and banned from all car parks in Portsea Island, was hunted down by police before appearing in court for his latest misdemeanours.

Walker, 35, of Sackville Street, was at large in the community with police warning people not to approach the infamous criminal.

He was wanted in connection with ‘firearms offences and an incident’ in King Henry I Street in Portsmouth city centre. During the November 18 incident a car was broken into.

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Picture shows Christopher Walker, 35, of Sackville Street, Southsea, at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court in 2016.

Walker’s distinctive shaven head with a prominent receding hairline is recognised throughout the city with posters having been put up warning people of his bans.

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And he was back in familiar territory on Monday with him appearing via video-link at Portsmouth Crown Court while on remand.

During his swift appearance Walker admitted stealing two rifles on November 18, as well as four counts of possessing firearms and two charges of possessing ammunition.

CCTV from inside a car at Harvester in Eastern Road, Portsmouth. Christopher Walker, 35, of Sackville Street, Southsea, was found guilty of theft after a trial at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court where police said he was the man in this footage in 2016.

Walker’s defence lawyer, Edward Hollingsworth, played down the offences which mark a step-up in criminality from his past forays.

‘These were opportunistic thefts but when he realised what he had he tried to get rid of (the rifles),’ Mr Hollingsworth said.

‘There was a tip-off to police before (the rifles) were found abandoned in a churchyard.

‘He never intended to steal them. He is just a petty thief who got in over his head.’

The prosecution will now have a week to decide if they accept Walker’s version of events following his guilty pleas ahead of sentencing. If they do not, a hearing to decide the facts will be heard by a judge.

A sentencing date was put down for March 20 with Walker remanded.

A Hampshire police statement said at the time of the thefts: ‘Anyone found to be harbouring Walker to deliberately obstruct our attempts to locate him may be committing an offence and be liable for arrest and prosecution themselves.’

Walker won notoriety in 2010 when he was given a five-year Asbo banning him from all car parks in Portsea island.

Posters with his picture were put up warning people of his ban.