Homeless, jobless, hopeless... jailed

A “homeless, jobless, hopeless” drunk has been jailed for repeatedly drinking in Ipswich.Michael Debenham was jailed for 16 months for consistently breaching an Anti-Social Behaviour Order imposed in August 2006 which prevented him from possessing alcohol and from drinking in public within the Ipswich Borough.

A “homeless, jobless, hopeless” drunk has been jailed for repeatedly drinking in Ipswich.

Michael Debenham was jailed for 16 months for consistently breaching an Anti-Social Behaviour Order imposed in August 2006 which prevented him from possessing alcohol and from drinking in public within the Ipswich Borough.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the 56-year-old former crane driver had been an alcoholic for 30 years and had been homeless for 15 years.

Peter Fenn, prosecuting, said Debenham breached the ASBO for the ninth time when police arrested him on suspicion of shop-lifting in Boots in Ipswich.

Mr Fenn said: “It was clear he had been drinking and some alcohol was present. He also stamped on the foot of an arresting officer who had to take painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

“The defendant said he was unhappy because he had nowhere to live and no money.”

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Debenham pleaded guilty to breaching the ASBO and to assaulting a police officer.

Charles Riddleston, mitigating, said his client was released from prison on December 1 last year after serving time for a previous breach. He said: “He is homeless and jobless and to some degree somewhat hopeless. He describes himself as being in a vicious circle because he goes into prison homeless and comes out of prison homeless.”

Mr Riddleston said prison would provide “a roof over his head and regular meals”.

Judge John Devaux said: “The courts seldom come across a more depressing case than this. You do not regret your actions because you are better off in prison and you told probation “the police think they can do what they like, so I though I would get my own back'.

“There is nothing to be achieved by not passing a prison sentence and I'm sure you will soon be at it again when you are released.”