Man is spared prison over single sip of beer

A ST IVES man came within an ace of being behind bars for taking a sip from his father s can of lager. Samuel Marshall, 18, of Lancaster Drive, St Ives, who was banned from parts of the town under an Anti-Social Behaviour Order and from drinking in public

A ST IVES man came within an ace of being behind bars for taking a sip from his father's can of lager.

Samuel Marshall, 18, of Lancaster Drive, St Ives, who was banned from parts of the town under an Anti-Social Behaviour Order and from drinking in public there, admitted the breach.

But, when police were called to an unrelated incident in Warner's Park, they saw Marshall, who appeared to be drunk, and arrested him for breaching the ASBO, Cambridgeshire's chief prosecutor Richard Crowley told Huntingdonshire magistrates.

The young man admitted having drunk four or five bottles of lager at home and that he had taken a sip from his father's can in the park.

His solicitor, Nenad Spasojevic, told the Bench the can had not even left his father's hand.

His client now accepted that alcohol was a problem for him. He had recently served a custodial sentence for breach of an ASBO, since when he had got a job, accommodation and a stable relationship.

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Magistrates' chairman Derek Rutherford told Marshall: "When we entered this court, you were facing custody. You had better learn to leave alcohol alone. Your advocate has saved you from custody."

Instead, he imposed a 12-month community order, including supervision, re-ferral to Drinksense for counselling and 80 hours unpaid work. He must also pay £43 court costs.