Desperate alcoholic's plea to court

A DESPERATE Felixstowe down-and-out, who begged a court to send her to jail for her own good, is still a free woman today.

A DESPERATE Felixstowe down-and-out, who begged a court to send her to jail for her own good, is still a free woman today.

Anita Stobbs, 47, sobbed as she told magistrates: “I'd like a custodial sentence please. I've got nowhere to go, what am I supposed to do?”

Stobbs, who sleeps rough in the seaside town or stays with friends, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court charged with disorderly behaviour and breeching a conditional discharge.

She admitted both offences, telling court officials she was desperate to go to prison and to receive help to get her life back on track.

However the offence was not serious enough to warrant a jail term and she walked free from court.

Stobbs told the court: “I've got no money. I can't get back to Felixstowe. What am I supposed to do?

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“I lost my mum four weeks ago, that's why all this came about because I can't cope.”

The court heard Stobbs had been arrested at about 5pm on October 20 in Felixstowe's Hamilton Road after she caused a scene.

Andrea Reynolds, prosecuting, said: “Police were called to reports that a female had 'lost it'. They recognised this lady from previous dealings.

“She was plainly under the influence of alcohol. She began shouting.

“There were also young children in the locality.”

She said the offence also breached a 12-month conditional discharge imposed on Stobbs in March for a separate offence of disorderly behaviour.

Stobbs was fined £20, which was deemed served by time she spent in custody before her court appearance, and the conditional discharge was allowed to continue.

Does more need to be done to help vulnerable people in Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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