Conditional discharge for man who was ‘so drunk he couldn’t speak’

16:49 08 August 2014

North Devon Magistrates

North Devon Magistrates' Court.

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Barnstaple man given 12 month conditional discharge after receiving help for drink problem

A BARNSTAPLE man ‘was so drunk he couldn’t speak’ when police officers approached him in the high street, a court has heard.

Simon John Needs, 38, of Beaufort Street was given a conditional discharge on Friday after pleading guilty to being drunk on a highway at North Devon Magistrates’ Court.

Police found Needs outside Café Nero in High Street, and said he was ‘staggering’ and holding a half-drunk bottle of wine.

Zara Svensson, for the defence, explained that Needs had struggled with an alcohol problem for a number of years, but was now receiving help from the ‘Rise’ programme.

“He very much regrets this incident and apologises to the officer who was trying to assist him,” she said.

Needs was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £30 in costs and a victim surcharge.

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