Teenage criminal known as 'Ratboy' grows up - but he's back behind bars

Anthony Kennedy, who hid in ventilation shafts when he was on the run in the 1990s, jailed for burglary

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The Independent Online

A notorious criminal who was dubbed Ratboy when he was a youngster has lost his freedom again at the age of 34.

Anthony Kennedy was given the nickname by the local press in the 1990s after he hid in ventilation shafts in Newcastle's Byker Wall when he was on the run from care homes and police.

He ran up a long list of previous convictions for burglary as a youth, but vowed to go straight after 'finding God'.

But he was jailed for three years at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting two counts of burglary.

Kennedy, from Blyth, Northumberland, broke into the homes of an 81-year-old and a family on the same night in May.

It was said in court that the elderly victim was left terrified after finding him rolling around outside her home, drunk. He had broken a window and taken money from a coat.

He also ransacked the living room, dining room, conservatory and kitchen of another home, taking items while his victims slept upstairs.

It was said in court that he committed the crimes after drinking and taking medication.

It was thought he had turned his life around six years ago after he settled down with his partner and fathered two children.

He kicked heroin and started going to church regularly.

In an interview in 2007 he said: "Ratboy is the person I used to be. The only names I want to be called now are Anthony and Dad. I've turned my back on crime and would never go back to that life. I've got too much to lose."