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Ex soldier gets fresh chance

PUBLISHED: 16:12 23 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

AN ex-soldier has been spared a prison sentence following a string of crimes, which included throwing a car battery at his former girlfriend.

Magistrates said that 19-year-old Terrie Forrest was "very close to the edge", but that prison was going to be of very little help in restarting his life.

AN ex-soldier has been spared a prison sentence following a string of crimes, which included throwing a car battery at his former girlfriend.

Magistrates said that 19-year-old Terrie Forrest was "very close to the edge", but that prison was going to be of very little help in restarting his life.

Among the offences he admitted to, were criminal damage, possession of a knife and burglary.

They heard how Forrest became violent after drinking and caused £200 of damage at Ipswich pub Mannings, during which time a knife nearly four inches long fell out of his pockets.

On the same day – January 7 this year – he caused minor damage to a door of the property at Peterhouse Close, by throwing a heavy car battery at an ex-girlfriend during a row, the court was told.

Prosecutor Ian Pells described how Forrest became violent again on the evening of February 10 after being refused alcohol by a shopkeeper at the Ellenbrook Road Londis Store, who suspected he was under-age and drunk.

He faced a further charge at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court, in Ipswich, for burgling a house on Portman Road, where he previously lodged, and stealing £440 of goods.

On September 27, a neighbour saw him make several trips in and out of the house after gaining entry by reaching through the letterbox and unlocking the front door, said Mr Pells.

He took with him a bin bag full of goods, including stereo equipment and used a friend's car he was supposed to be repairing as a getaway vehicle.

After a police chase, he was arrested in Goldcrest Road. He admitted responsibility for taking the vehicle, for the burglary and stealing the items that were later recovered in the car.

Roger Stewart, defending, said his client had suffered a turbulent childhood following the break-up of his parents' marriage.

After a spell in the Army, he lived an itinerant life, sleeping rough and at the homes of friends and family He was also violently assaulted by an uncle on a number of occasions, the court heard.

It was this uncle who exerted pressure on him to use the car to burgle the house whose owner, he claimed, owed him money for drugs.

Forrest also faced charges of failing to appear before magistrates on two occasions and was found to be in breach of a community service order, serving only 21 hours of the 80 imposed on him by Ipswich magistrates, in October last year, for similar offences.

Chairman of the bench, Mrs Peggy Sargent told Forrest: "You are very close to the edge as you know. We think that by having a bail hostel place you will be better off in the long term."

Forrest was bailed to Cottage Hostel on Old Norwich Road for assessment.

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