Man cleared to visit bar
AN Ipswich man is free to visit his favourite Ipswich town centre bar today just days after being banned from the drinking spot for two years.Duane Collings, of Turner Road, saw his antisocial behaviour order quashed and 14-day prison sentence reduced to 12 months conditional discharge on appeal at Ipswich Crown Court.
AN Ipswich man is free to visit his favourite Ipswich town centre bar today just days after being banned from the drinking spot for two years.
Duane Collings, of Turner Road, saw his antisocial behaviour order quashed and 14-day prison sentence reduced to 12 months conditional discharge on appeal at Ipswich Crown Court.
The 37-year-old father-of-four had pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to charges of using threatening behaviour and resisting arrest after an incident outside the Chicago Rock Café.
The court heard that Collings had been drinking heavily for several hours at the bar before leaving with his wife on April 30.
Police officers had seen him fighting with his wife and when they intervened Collings swore at them and tried to run off.
Collings said: "I was only play fighting with my wife when the officers come over. I told them to stop bothering me and when one of them tried to grab me I threw him off me and ran up the road.
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"I tripped over and shouted that they would need two of them to get me. I was just joking and if I'd had two pints less it all would have been different."
A police statement read out to the court reported that Collings got up and started swearing and threatening the officers.
District Judge John Cooper imposed the tough sentences on Wednesday, June 16, and also fined Collings £100 for swearing at the officer.
Although Collings had been visiting the bar for eight years with no previous incidents, the judge said he thought the ban would prevent him causing any more trouble there.
Collings lodged an appeal immediately and the crown court judge re-sentenced him to the lighter penalties.
Collings said: "My solicitor told me to expect a fine, not to be put inside. I was in prison from Wednesday to Friday afternoon when I shouldn't have been in at all.
"I have lost every ounce of respect I had for the justice system."
"I was in and out of crown court in twenty minutes, the judge couldn't believe I got what I did."
A spokeswoman at the crown court said the £100 fine would still have to be paid.