Ipswich: Mum in call for help as son faces another stint in prison

iPSWICH: Concerned mum Mandy Gavin has faced years of heartache and distress caused by her tearaway son’s behaviour.

But today she ONCE AGAIN pleaded for help to get him back on track.

Jamie Arnold’s thuggishness began to spiral out of control when he was a teenager – and today he is back behind bars after attacking a pub manager with a bottle.

It is the latest sorry saga in a long line of batteries, assaults and attempted robberies committed by the 28-year-old.

Arnold was sentenced to 20 months in prison at Ipswich Crown Court last week after admitting the crime.

Ms Gavin, of Fritton Close, Ipswich, told the Evening Star that she believed her son had a behavioural problem and has had difficulty getting him the help he so desperately needs.

In November 2003, Arnold featured on the front of the Star as he prepared to spend his sixth consecutive Christmas under lock and key after racking up 60 convictions in the previous six years.

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On that occasion, he was sentenced to four months’ detention after admitting threatening behaviour when he tried to headbutt a barmaid in a Felixstowe snooker club before punching her in the face.

A month later, the mother-of-four made a public appeal in the Star for her son to undergo a health assessment – one of a number of pleas she claims she has made over the years to the authorities.

She is now making another call for support, claiming the system has failed her son by not helping him enough when he leaves custody.

She said: “Some people will say that I haven’t done enough to help my son, but I have tried for years to help him, but no one is on hand to offer us advice and support.

“When he is in prison, he is OK because he is settled and it is almost like his own little world which he can deal with.

“As soon as they let him out, he is just left to cope on his own and he gets into trouble by doing silly things.

“For years, I have been asking for help, but no one comes forward to offer support.”

In stark contrast, Ms Gavin was crowned the overall Star of Suffolk in The Evening Star’s 2009 Stars of Suffolk Awards after she courageously pulled a nurse from the wreckage of her burning car just seconds before it exploded.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We do not comment on individuals’ medical conditions as such information is confidential.

“All prisoners receive a health screening and see a doctor when they arrive in prison.

“This Government is committed to exploring new approaches to rehabilitation that use prisons, probation and independent providers to turn around offenders’ lives.”

n What do you think about Mandy Gavin’s situation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you~ can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk