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‘Alcoholic’ who resisted police given chance to ‘prove himself’ and avoid going to jail

'Before you know it you are as full as a sheugh and back to this same sort of behaviour'

Craigavon Courthouse

A Portadown man described as an “alcoholic” by a district judge has been given a chance to escape time behind bars.

The 44-year-old was told abstain from alcohol in order to be given the chance of a community service order.

Eamon Edward McCann, of Garvaghy Park, pleaded guilty to resisting police at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Upon reading a report prepared by probation, District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Mr McCann has an alcohol problem and would not want to change – is that a fair evaluation?”

Defence counsel said: “Actually, he had recently got this under control and has cut down on his drinking.”

District Judge Kelly commented: “No such thing as an alcoholic cutting down, if you haven’t given up completely it isn’t good enough for me.”

Court heard that McCann was in breach of a live suspended sentence.

District Judge Kelly stated: “He has the cheek to tell me he has cut down on drinking, given that all of his offences are alcohol fuelled¬†and that his record goes back to the last century.”

She told the defendant: “You will be alright, until the next time you go out, you won’t stop at two and will end up taking four or five or six.

“Before you know it you are as full as a sheugh and back to this same sort of behaviour.”

Defence counsel suggested that McCann would benefit from the help of probation coupled with community service.

District Judge Kelly stated: “Not until A, he recognises there is a problem, and B, stops drinking.

“It does not count if it is under a court order then it is forced upon him, that is why I am going to give him a chance to prove himself.”

She stated that the sentencing in the case would be deferred until August 14 for sentencing.

McCann was told not to come to the attention of police for his behaviour and to abstain from alcohol.

District Judge Kelly stated that the defendant needed to get help and support.

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