A homeless man has been jailed for a whopping 16 weeks after being found guilty of picking up a race number at the London Marathon and pretending to finish the race.
Stanislaw Skupian was a spectator at the grueling 26.2-mile event in April when he saw a lost number fluttering across the pavement. The 38-year old then picked it up and finished the last three miles of the race before picking up a prized medal.
The number had belonged to runner Jake Halliday, who said he lost it after removing his t-shirt. Halliday was not allowed to finish the race. He was removed from the course with 300 meters to go after he was spotted without his number.
Amazingly, Skupian’s indiscretion earned him 13 weeks in prison after he admitted one count of fraud at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court. He received an additional three weeks for thefts at Heathrow Airport, where he reportedly sleeps rough. According to the Daily Mirror, he is known to staff at the airport as the “jogging tramp.”
Defense lawyer Jameela Jamroz told the court that the marathon finish was a “dream come true” for the defendant. “At the time he hadn’t fully appreciated that he was doing anything wrong,” Jamroz said, according to the BBC. “He dedicated the completion of it to his seven-year-old son and to homeless people to inspire them that good things can happen to those that are less fortunate.”
The court heard that Skupian, who suffers from mental health problems, became homeless after separating from his wife.
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