Alcoholic spared jail after three Asbo breaches in four months
AN ALCOHOLIC who breached his Anti-Social Behaviour Order three times in four months has avoided going to jail.
Nigel Thomas, 49, faced Plymouth magistrates in custody after being caught drinking cider in the street.
He was already facing two deferred sentences for two earlier breaches.
Thomas, staying at the Salvation Army hostel in Park Avenue, admitted breaching his order by having an opened container of alcohol in Union Street on September 9.
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He was also sentenced for breaching his order by entering a prohibited area on July 29 and for having another container of alcohol on May 11.
Magistrates fined him £50 for each offence and ordered him to pay £15 victim surcharge, but the sums were wiped out because of time spent in custody.
Presiding magistrate Diana Baumer said: "We could send you to prison today but we cannot see how that would be useful to you."
Gareth Warden, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said police twice spotted Thomas drinking cider in the street.
He added for the third breach he was seen entering Union Street, where he was searching for change in phone boxes.
Roger Page, for Thomas, said he had been an alcoholic for about 30 years.
He added he was drinking cider from a can in the street when a passing police officer stopped his car and arrested him.
Mr Page said: "He was not being offensive or abusive in any way. He was just recognised by a police officer who pounced on him and his cider."
He added Thomas had a range of health problems and had been warned he would lose his sight if he did not stop smoking.
But Mr Page said he had lived at the Salvation Army hostel for two years and staff were helping him tackle his problems.