Street drinker gets a final warning after avoiding jail

A STREET drinker has been warned he is in “the last chance saloon” after he narrowly avoided jail.

John Gorman, 42, of Holmesdale Gardens, was arrested last Sunday after he was seen on the seafront with an open can of lager. He admitted breaching his anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) when he appeared before Hastings Magistrates Court on Tuesday, and prosecutor Mark Kateley told the court he had a suspended six-week jail sentence hanging over his head after similar breaches last year.

“On January 2 he was spotted by a PCSO with an open can of Kronenbourg in Bottle Alley,” he said. “He told police he had helped a couple of elderly people go down some stairs and as a result of that somebody bought him some alcohol.”

Gorman is well-known to the courts with a string of alcohol related convictions, Mr Kateley added.

Kim Goodall, defending, said: “I am not sure a residential rehabilitation placement is realistic because it is extremely costly to the community.

“If his alcohol problem can be cured it seems to me Mr Gorman will not appear before the court.

“Every one of his previous convictions are drink related.

“Even when he failed to turn up to court it was because he was drunk.

“This is a breach of an ASBO but it is not the worst kind,” he added.

Mr Gorman himself with his arms outstretched told the court: “I am reaching out for help.”

Magistrates sentenced him to a 12-month supervision order with a six-month alcohol treatment programme. He was also ordered to pay £40 costs.

The suspended sentence will stay in place.

Chairman of the bench Brian Higgins said: “If you in any way breach this order, be in no doubt at all that your feet will not touch the ground before you are in prison. This is your last chance saloon.”

Gorman punched the air and blew kisses at his probation officer before he left the dock.