An on-the-run robber who taunted South Yorkshire Police’s attempts to find him on the force’s Facebook page has finally been caught.
Sean Chamberlain said in February he was ‘laughing’ at the force’s attempts to find him ahead of a trial for his part in a robbery gang that targeted a 4ft 3ins stage actor in Mexborough.
But Chamberlain - found guilty in his absence at Sheffield Crown Court - has now been found, with officers tracking him down to an address at Wingfield Road in Athersley, Barnsley and raiding the house in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The property he was hiding in is less than 10 miles from his home address on Cumberland Way, Bolton-on-Dearne.
He is currently in custody and will now be sentenced for contempt of court after previously being given four years in prison for his part in the robbery.
A date has not yet been set for the court hearing.
But Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, who heard the trial, asked for Chamberlain to be brought before him for sentencing once he was caught.
Prior to his trial earlier this year, police issued an appeal to find Chamberlain on Facebook, putting out his picture and a description of him online.
Chamberlain had initially been taken in custody but was then granted bail and had failed to attend court hearings since October.
Chamberlain himself replied to the police appeal – posting a series of messages mocking the force’s efforts to find him after he failed to attend a number of court appearances relating to the case.
In one he said: “Says sumet when they looking so hard ive just been in shop at side of a cop lmfao.”
A jury unanimously found him guilty of being part of the robbery of a Range Rover from victim Luke Pendlebury, a stage actor who was threatened by a group of men to hand over his car or face having his house burnt down.
Judge Richardson said: “The defendant has made entries himself on Facebook. He has been suggesting in a number of entries that the police have not done their jobs and if they had he would be before the court.”
He said this ‘could not be further from the truth’ as the police had made repeated inquiries with his family and associates to find him.
Judge Richardson added: “I have been told the defendant has placed what can only be described as an extremely offensive and vulgar acronym on the police Facebook page.
“I’m told he has entered the following – ‘LMFAO’. I have been told the words that fall within the acronym but I forbear to set out in the course of a judgement what that acronym stands for.
“It is vulgar, offensive and provocative in the context of this case.”
He said Chamberlain, aged 30, could expect ‘quite a substantial sentence’.
Three other men admitted robbing actor Luke Pendlebury‘s Range Rover and a fourth pleaded guilty to attempting to intimidate him.
Luke Blakemore, of Laburnum Road, Mexborough, Ryan Taylor, of Schofield Street, Mexborough and Joshua Roddis, also of Schofield Street, all pleaded guilty to robbery. John Gilliver of Schofield Street admitted witness intimidation.
They forced their victim to hand over his car claiming he owed £5,000.