‘You have come very close to being sent to prison’

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A 25-year-old man was told last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court he was a ‘fortunate young man’ to get a chance to complete a court order instead of going to prison.

Aiden McCartan, Edenderry Park, Banbridge, at the local court in May had been convicted of disorderly behaviour and in July given an enhanced combination order of probation and community service.

But because of his failure to engage with probation they brought the matter back to court last week.

A probation officer told the court that the breach of the order occurred at the beginning when McCartan failed to attend a number of appointments. He added they had been informed the defendant had relapsed into using alcohol.

But, the officer said, since August 23 McCartan’s compliance had improved and he had completed 20.5 of the 40 hours. He asked for an adjournment until February 1.

A solicitor representing McCartan said he fully accepted the breach and had since re-engaged.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said the probation service put a lot of effort and resources into this type of order.

“You have come very close to having this revoked and being sent to prison,” Judge Copeland told McCartan. “You are a very fortunate young man.” He said that if between now and February 1 he did not put his shoulder to the wheel he would be spending some time in jail.