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Jail date for man set free by court

PUBLISHED: 05:36 08 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 March 2010

A TRAINEE electrician who narrowly escaped a prison sentence, will instead be working on a contract at Hollesley Bay Prison today.

Mark Elliston appeared in custody before magistrates in Ipswich on Saturday and admitted not turning up to complete a community service order.

A TRAINEE electrician who narrowly escaped a prison sentence, will instead be working on a contract at Hollesley Bay Prison today.

Mark Elliston appeared in custody before magistrates in Ipswich on Saturday and admitted not turning up to complete a community service order. It had been imposed in September 2000 for three offences of possessing drugs.

The father-of-two also owed £803 in unpaid court fines for previous offences.

The court heard from probation officer Paul Clements, who said Elliston, 33, of Newnham Court, Ipswich, had only worked 18 hours of the 160-hour order, and had not appeared for on August 9, 30 and September 9 last year.

Mr Clements asked for Elliston to be re-sentenced, and explained that the original order had been for 140 hours, but another 20 had been added on after Elliston first failed to turn up in August. He said: "It shows he has no motivation to complete the order."

Hugh Rowland, mitigating, said Elliston's employer sent him to work in Kent from September to December 2001, so his client had asked to have a time extension on the order, but that had not been possible.

He added that some fines had been paid off prior to coming to court, and said: "Mr Elliston starts work on a contract at Hollesley Bay Prison on Monday."

Chairman of magistrates David Smith said: "We have, this morning, come very close indeed to committing you to custody.

"We are not going to revoke the order but add another 20 hours to it. This is your Sundays for six months.

"If you breach the order in any way, I can almost put money on the fact that you will go to prison. This really is your last chance."

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