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ASBO drunk has jail term halved

PUBLISHED: 16:48 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:10 23 August 2010

AN ALCOHOLIC found passed out in the street while banned from being drunk in public had his 13-month jail term cut by the Court of Appeal.  Steven Carly Wright, 34, of Factory Road, Northfleet, was banned from being drunk in public under the terms of an a

AN ALCOHOLIC found passed out in the street while banned from being drunk in public had his 13-month jail term cut by the Court of Appeal.

Steven Carly Wright, 34, of Factory Road, Northfleet, was banned from being drunk in public under the terms of an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) imposed by Dartford magistrates in January.

But just two months later, in March, he was found drunk in a Gravesend road by police who had already spoken to him as he staggered along earlier that night.

He was sentenced to a total of 13 months' imprisonment at Maidstone Crown Court in August, after admitting breaching the Asbo and a suspended sentence order.

Last Friday two top judges slashed the nine months imposed for the Asbo offence to four months, leaving the four months for breaching the suspended sentence in place.

Cutting his sentence, the judge, sitting with Mrs Justice Rafferty, said the drunken incident had only a limited potential to affect the community.

He said: "There is no evidence that this particular breach caused actual harassment, alarm or distress.

"Of course, we have in mind that habitual drunkenness does create problems for law-abiding citizens and the police, adversely affecting the quality of life in the community."

Giving the court's decision, Mr Justice Henriques told how Wright had a considerable record of trouble with the police, with almost 100 offences to his name.

The suspended sentence had been imposed after he assaulted a railway station staff member after he was ejected by security for jumping onto the tracks.

But he said nine months for the breach was "manifestly excessive" and reduced Wright's total term to eight months' imprisonment.

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