Alcoholic jailed for breaching ASBO

AN alcoholic given a community sentence for breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) is behind bars today after falling foul of the order for a second time.

AN alcoholic given a community sentence for breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) is behind bars today after falling foul of the order for a second time.

Michael Debenham was given the Asbo on May 20, banning him from drinking in the streets of Ipswich and sleeping in the town's parks.

But the 54-year-old breached the order just hours later and appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court earlier this month to be sentenced for the offence.

He was given a 12-month community order with a supervision requirement and was released from the court, only to breach the order that very evening.

Andy Solomon, anti-social behaviour network manager for Ipswich, said: “At 10.15pm on June 6 he was found under the influence of alcohol in a public place.

“He was drunk outside the Corn Exchange, carrying a plastic bottle of cider and making obscene gestures to a police car.”

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Debenham, of no fixed abode, has since appeared before the town's magistrates again where he admitted the breach.

He was sentenced to six months in prison and his Asbo and community order were to continue on his release.

Court officials had previously criticised the decision to issue Debenham with an Asbo with district judge David Cooper saying it was “fantastic” that the order could make being drunk and disorderly a crime punishable with a prison sentence.

But Mr Solomon said Debenham was scaring members of the public and children and the Asbo was a means of protecting them.

Speaking of Debenham's imprisonment, he said: “I hope he can now access the services he needs to deal with his problem.”

Debenham is believed to be planning to appeal his sentence.

Have you suffered at the hands of anti-social behaviour? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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