Sat, 15 Feb 2020
A MAN who staged a ‘sit-in’ at a Thatcham pub has narrowly avoided imprisonment.
The 41-year-old had been shouting and swearing as a group of customers tried to enjoy a game of bingo, Reading magistrates heard.
The offence in itself was not imprisonable – but the defendant had a suspended prison sentence hanging over him.
The law states that, if a new offence is committed during the suspended sentence term, the court must activate it – unless it is persuaded it would be unjust to do so.
In the dock on Thursday was Rory Alan Kendrick, of Sagecroft Road.
Christine Lynas, prosecuting, said Mr Kendrick had been banned from The White Hart in Thatcham High Street for previous bad behaviour.
But he walked in nevertheless and Ms Lynas added: “The landlady said he was intoxicated, unsteady on his feet and slurring his words.
“He refused to leave when asked and continued to sit in the pub.”
The police were called and, when they arrived, Mr Kendrick began staggering, shouting and swearing, but continued to refuse to leave, the court heard.
Ms Lynas went on: “A policeman took hold of his arm and he shouted loudly ‘f*** off’ as some elderly ladies were about to start a game of bingo.”
Mr Kendrick admitted being drunk and disorderly on September 20 last year.
He also has five previous convictions, including three for drink-driving offences, the court heard, plus the 12-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, hanging over him.
Mike Davis, defending, said: “It’s true that he was abusive in the pub, but there was no violence.
“Probation have no problems with the community order continuing and he has been complying with an unpaid work requirement.”
He added that his client had personal issues to deal with and added: “There is a reason he has been drinking for the past 17 years.
“I hope you will take the view that it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence given the low-level nature of the matter before the court which isn’t, in itself, imprisonable.”
After conferring with colleagues, presiding magistrate Julia Hardy told Mr Kendrick: “You would have been told, when you were last sentenced, that if you committed a further offence the suspended sentence could be activated.”
However, she added that because of Mr Kendrick’s compliance with the unpaid work order and early guilty plea, the court would not be jailing him that day.
Instead, Mr Kendrick was fined £332 and ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £32.
Ms Hardy told Mr Kendrick: “We recommend you don’t go back to The White Hart... you don’t want to get into the position of committing another offence because that sentencing bench might take a different course of action.”