Ipswich: CRASBOs for addicts branded futile after alcoholic Michael Smith breaches order four times within five days of getting it

Michael Smith Michael Smith

Friday, September 5, 2014
3:55 PM

Slapping Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Orders on addicts was today branded “futile” after an alcoholic substance abuser breached his four times within five days of receiving it.

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Michael Smith's tent at the former Ipswich police stationMichael Smith's tent at the former Ipswich police station

Homeless Michael Smith is serving 28 days in jail after he broke his CRASBO conditions again within an hour of being released from Ipswich’s South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court for his third breach.

The 49-year-old, who has lived in Ipswich and the Felixstowe area, is a long-time alcoholic and substance abuser. When he appeared in court in 2011 it was said he had more than 180 previous convictions. Smith was given a CRASBO by magistrates last Wednesday after being found guilty in his absence of causing alarm, harassment or distress outside the NSPCC offices in Crown Street, Ipswich, on April 27.

After the courts finally ran out of patience with Smith and jailed him, his solicitor Dino Barricella, of Barricella Hughes and Marchant, railed against giving CRASBOs to homeless people with addictions.

He said: “I think it is futile. It’s setting people up to fail. It is like telling an alcoholic not to drink – it is not going to happen.

“You would be better off finding Mr Smith accommodation rather than putting him through the criminal justice system. That just costs us all money.”

Smith’s original CRASBO prevented him from entering Portman Road, Barrack Corner, St Matthews Street, Civic Drive, Westgate Street, Cornhill and Tavern Street unless attending a specified appointment within the area.

He was also barred from entering the town centre with an unsealed container of alcohol or with a container of lighter gas.

Smith first breached his CRASBO at 12.45am on the day after receiving it by going into Tavern Street in Ipswich with two containers of lighter gas.

He pleaded guilty to the breach before Ipswich magistrates on Friday and also to an offence of criminal damage to a fence while sleeping rough on August 18.

In mitigation Mr Barricella told the court years of addiction and a considerable time being homeless were Smith’s problem.

He added: “There was a tent (which Smith set up) opposite the former police station for a short while. He was then moved on by way of a county court order.

“I ask you just show some leniency towards a man with the difficulties he has. The reality is he will probably be back before the courts again.”

Magistrates gave Smith a day in custody in lieu of a fine and ordered him to pay £75 compensation for the criminal damage.

However, the following day he broke his CRASBO at 8am by being found in Westgate Street in possession of lighter gas,

After appearing before magistrates that morning he was released from custody only to breach it again at 4pm the same day by being in Tavern Street.

He was detained in custody on Saturday night and throughout Sunday before appeared in court again on Monday morning.

Smith was given a day’s detention with time served and released only to break his conditions again within an hour.

At 12.15pm he was arrested in Black Horse Lane carrying a container of lighter gas.

When Smith re-appeared before the district judge the same afternoon he was given 28 days in jail.

6 comments

  • Of course its futile as people like this simply don't care and just carry on as they were, the fact that this man has over 180 convictions clearly shows that! Interesting his solicitor thinks that finding him accommodation would be better as putting his client through the justice system costs everyone money - as would accommodation surely, and all the extra benefits etc and still he would most likely continue in his lifestyle choice - and before anyone jumps down my throat, in my opinion it is a choice, no one forces anyone to start abusing drink, drugs etc, yes they become addicted but they made the choice to follow that path in the first place so why should the rest of us have to financially support that?

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    MZH

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

  • a friends comment has made me think that these are a good idea. Obviously the teen was being a pain to others, the punishment showed the parent what others were suffering, am I right or am I right

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    Lee Davies

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • My son was given one as a tennager and the only person punished was myself due to the ridiculous terms of his crasbo. In all honesty i am surprised they even exist still.

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    a friend

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • this man should be put in charge of border control.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Clearly our 21st Century society is failing some people. But, never mind, at least the wealthy get their tax cuts.

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    Johnthebap

    Friday, September 5, 2014

  • Don't worry, this man is just carrying out a pilot study for Hazel Blear's plan to relocate suspected terrorists into the town under a kind of jazzed up ABSO. He is just trying to see if her plan will work.

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    Gobby

    Friday, September 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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