A STOP smoking poster campaign has been scrapped after it emerged the subject had a criminal past.

Carl Dolphin, from Bolton, was in court for harassment four years ago ­— when he made menacing phone calls and sent texts to a woman and her mother.

And back in 1990, he was given a community service order over his involvement with football hooliganism.

Alongside his picture on the billboard are the words ‘This year has been the wake-up call I needed to stop smoking’.

Health chiefs have now vowed to remove the posters from their campaign ­— after receiving complaints from the public about the 51-year-old father's history.

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, who were responsible for the poster, said they regretted "causing offence".

A spokesman said: “We are determined to make smoking history in Greater Manchester and sharing the experiences of real people who have successfully stopped smoking is an important part of our approach.

“We take public feedback seriously and would never want to cause offence.

“We are now removing this story from the campaign.”

In 2016, Dolphin was ordered to do 150 hours' unpaid work after admitting to harassing a woman and making menacing phone calls.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how Dolphin, then aged 46, of Willows Lane, Deane, made menacing phone calls to the woman in the space of a month and sent three harassing text messages to her mother.

In 1990, The Herald in Scotland reported that 34 thugs pleaded guilty to football hooliganism offences following the police undercover investigations codenamed Operation Gamma.

Dolphin, then aged 20, of Drake Hall, Westhoughton, was one of the men convicted and was handed a community service order.

Cllr Sue Haworth, Bolton Labour spokeswoman on health and deprivation in the borough, backed the anti-smoking campaign and said that Dolphin’s inclusions “reminds us that smoking is an issue for people from all walks of life”.

Cllr Haworth said: “The quit smoking campaign is helping and supporting people in the borough to kick the habit and enjoy the benefits that this brings to both health and ‘pounds in the pocket’.

“This unfortunate matter of problems with a stop smoking poster in Farnworth reminds us that smoking is an issue for people from all walks of life.

“We know that some people with worries about coronavirus and breathing symptoms are taking steps to cut down and cut out smoking so we are indebted to the Stop Smoking services staff who continue to work and support people.”

Dolphin declined to comment about his involvement in the campaign when approached by The Bolton News.