A FORKLIFT truck driver defied a judge and went back to his old workplace looking for a job, York magistrates heard.

Judge Simon Hickey said  Craig Matthews, 62, had made a “real nuisance” of himself at Greencore’s site in Barlby near Selby when he sentenced him on May 8.

The 62-year-old forklift driver, who was sacked for writing poetry at work, told the judge through his barrister he didn’t want to go to the food factory and was no longer obsessed by it.

But five days later he was back at Greencore.

Alex Steadward, prosecuting, said Matthews was banned from going within 100 metres of the site’s gatehouse under a restraining order made at York Crown Court on May 8.

But on May 13, he was at the premises.

“He ended up asking for a job,” said the prosecutor.

Staff called police and decided to let him into the gatehouse to await their arrival, which he had done peacefully.

But, when officers arrived: “he said he knew he shouldn’t be there, but he thought it would be okay.”

York Press: Greencore food factor in BarlbyGreencore food factor in Barlby (Image: Google Street View)

Matthews, of Chapel Meadows, Gilberdyke, East Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching the restraining order.

Magistrates made him subject to a 12-month community order with 15 days’ rehabilitative activities to help him deal with his mental health issues. He was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £114 statutory surcharge.

The court heard a probation officer had been told Matthews may have undiagnosed autism.  He had other psychological issues.

His solicitor Craig Robertson said: “He was dismissed from the company because he was writing poetry whilst he was meant to be working.”

Matthews had been aggrieved because other employees, who were constantly on their mobile phones, were not treated as he had been.

He had gone back to Greencore because he wanted to appeal his dismissal.

“This is a gentleman who is struggling,” said Mr Robertson. “He wanted his job back. He accepts now that is not going to happen.”

Matthews had not been aggressive during his May 13 visit to the site and the anger he felt about his dismissal had gone.

Matthews was jailed for five months at York Crown Court on May 8 after the court heard how he had repeatedly gone to the factory, including one visit when he was so violent he had had to be pepper sprayed two or three times by police before they could remove him from the site.

Because he had been remanded in custody following his arrest in December, he had served the equivalent of his sentence and was released.

The restraining order lasts until 2029 and as well as the ban on going to the factory also prevents him from mentioning the company on social media.