Drunken yob spared another jail term

A MAN who threatened bar staff while in a drunken rage was spared jail after his solicitor said had been to prison so many times it no longer had an effect.

A MAN who threatened bar staff while in a drunken rage was spared jail after his solicitor said had been to prison so many times it no longer had an effect.

Russell Ireland, 20, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich charged with being in possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and threatening behaviour.

Ireland had been arrested following the incident outside the Curve bar in Princes Street on Wednesday.

Ireland told the court he had no fixed address, but collected mail from a house in Colchester.

Prosecuting, Stephen Colman told the court workers at the Curve bar had been using a ladder to carry out maintenance work and a customer had told them the ladder was lying on the ground.

When a member of staff went outside to investigate he was confronted by Ireland, who was abusive and rude. Other staff then went outside and Ireland turned on them.

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Mr Colman said: "He then told a female member of staff he would smash her skull in. He opened his jacket and pulled out a litre bottle, it was empty and he said he would do it with the bottle."

The court then heard that Ireland had thrown the glass bottle at the staff.

"The bottle was thrown with some force, it missed the staff but hit the ground and smashed," Mr Colman said.

The court also heard how Ireland had kicked two doors at the bar, which will cost £160 to repair.

Police were called and Ireland was found in Civic Drive, where he was arrested.

Officers at the scene had prepared to use CS spray because of the aggressive way Ireland had behaved.

Ireland admitted all three offences and in mitigation, Nick Michaels told the court he had been very drunk at the time and had no memory of the incident.

"He knows what he did was wrong and is sorry for what he did," Mr Michaels said.

"He'd had a lot to drink and doesn't remember what happened."

He also said Ireland had had a difficult past and been in trouble many times.

"He has been in and out of prison so many times it has little effect on him now," Mr Michaels said.

Giving Ireland a conditional discharge and ordering him to pay the £160 repair bill, magistrate Mike Hilton said: "We are trying to give you a chance. You are 20-years-old and by now you should be able to look after yourself and have a useful life, there is nothing else we can do for you."

How should courts deal with offenders like this? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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