Colchester man guilty of breaching ASBO for 70th time
PUBLISHED: 05:30 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:05 04 June 2019
A Colchester man has been found guilty of breaching an anti-social behaviour order for the 70th time.
Neville Dickinson claimed he was looking after a can of lager for a friend when he was arrested in a street-drinking hotspot in Colchester.
Dickinson, 67, was made the subject of the ASBO by Chelmsford Crown Court in September 2005.
It banned him from being drunk in a public place, begging, using abusive language in a public place, having an open container of alcohol and sitting in doorways.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that in the last 14 years Dickinson had breached the order a total of 69 times for being drunk in a public place, for being abusive in a public place and for having an open bottle or can of alcohol.
It was also said that since 2005 he had offended a total of 343 times and been convicted 176 times, being handed down jail sentences totalling 20 years.
Dickinson received a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for the latest offences.
He had denied two counts of breaching an ASBO after being arrested at St Botolph's Priory ruins in Colchester late in the morning on August 2.
The court heard he was with a group of people and was allegedly seen drinking from a can, which he tried to hide behind him when police arrived.
Dickinson was swearing, verbally aggressive and refused to stand when asked by a police officer.
When the officer looked behind him he found an open can which he believed contained lager.
Following his arrest Dickinson, of Ayloffe Road, Colchester, said he had been looking after it for a friend while he went to a shop.
During sentencing, Judge Martyn Levett said that Dickinson showed "no desire to change".
The judge said he did not know how to sentence Dickinson, saying the courts had "tried everything" and there was "no prospect of rehabilitation".
He decided on a suspended sentence so that Dickinson could continue his work with social workers, which he described as "the only glimmer of hope".
The court heard Dickinson, who did not give evidence, weighs under seven stone, has a chronic alcohol problem and had suffered two bleeds on the brain.
The jury came to a unanimous decision for both offences, deliberating for less than two hours.