Criminal who claimed he was too hungover to do community service avoids jail for a second time

A criminal who said he was too hungover to do community service has avoided being locked up for a second time.

Simon Keith was high on cocaine when he attacked two police officers trying to get him home, and was handed a suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid last year.

But the 28-year-old was brought back before Leeds Crown Court this week where he admitted two breaches of the work order.

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Prosecuting, Jessica Randell, said that he told probation that he had slept through one appointment, later claiming he was in hospital, but which was never confirmed.

Leeds Crown Court

For the second breach, he said he was too hungover to work.

The court was told that he had completed around 62 hours of his unpaid work, with 84 still to go. And from 41 planned appointments, he had attended 33, with two acceptable absences and six unacceptable.

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Mitigating, Christopher Morton, said of his hangover excuse: "It does not get much worse than this. I have left him in no doubt that the starting point would be to activate part or all of the sentence."

He said that despite the setback, Keith was still making progress and had found employment at TK Maxx near the A1.

Judge Robin Mairs told him: "I remember you. I afforded you an opportunity with a suspended sentence. You give me one good reason why I should not send you to prison?"

The judge told him he wants Keith to return to court on January 31 next year, by which time he expects him to have completed his unpaid work allocation.

He added: "If you have not done every single thing that is required of you, you will spend February 1 in Armley (HMP Leeds)."

Keith, of Chapel Street, Knottingley, had previously admitted a charge of GBH and assault following an incident in Wakefield city centre in September 2019.

He had called 999 saying he was being followed on Northgate, having become paranoid after taking cocaine.

When officers turned up, he became confrontational, elbowing one of the two officers in the chest as they struggled to restrain him.

It was later found that the officer’s tendon had been ripped from his chest muscle and he required surgery and months of rehabilitation.

Keith also injured the finger of a female officer who had arrived as back up as they tried to get him into the back of a police van.