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Drunk ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ stole supermarket vodka and threatened pub worker

today21 September 2022 1

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A Derbyshire “Jekyll and Hyde character” has been handed an opportunity to prove he can stay out of trouble or face being sent back to prison. Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how Liam Meenan drunkenly threatened a pub worker after stealing two bottles of vodka from a nearby supermarket.

The 37-year-old, who has been to jail before, was allowed to read his own letter to the court from custody, in which he apologised for any upset he caused. And he even wished those in the courtroom well after being spared immediate custody.

Handing him a 22-week prison term, suspended for a year, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “You strike me as a Jekyll and Hyde character. You present here well today and you have spoken well to the court.

Read more: Get the latest court stories from Derbyshire Live

“However, I suspect that when you have drunk alcohol you are a completely different character and you become a threat to members of the public and people trying to do their jobs and members of the emergency services. That’s why you have gone to prison in the past.

“Today, you are going to get the chance with a carrot and stick. The suspended sentence is the carrot and if you behave yourself there will be no prison. But if there’s a problem, 22 weeks is your starting point.”

Peter Bettany, prosecuting, said both offences happened on September 11, this year. He said: “These are two separate incidents on the same day.

“The theft from the shop is what it is. He walked into Tesco and was caught on CCTV stealing two bottles of vodka and a laundry bag to the value of some £90.

“Then, he was out in a pub called the Market Inn, in (Market Place) Ilkeston, where he had been for some time and was quite intoxicated. He was being quite unpleasant to a member of the staff and because he was being so aggressive that is why he has been charged with assault.

“He talked about being a boxer and that he could ‘take’ the member of staff, threatening to ‘cave in’ his head. He was trying to intimidate him, getting close to him and being menacing. The staff member was left fearing he was going to be assaulted.”

Meenan, of Godfrey Drive, Kirk Hallam, pleaded guilty to assault and theft.

His solicitor, Chris Hallas, told the hearing that his client had a letter he had written that he wanted to read to the court himself. From the dock, the defendant said: “I am not the best at reading but I want to begin by apologising.

“I am a civil engineer by trade, a groundworker and I also have an 11-year-old daughter and I have been making small steps to see her. I just thought it would be respectful to apologise to anyone I have upset. I respect everyone, including the boys in blue.”

As well as the suspended jail sentence, Judge Taaffe ordered Meenan to pay £90 costs and £30 compensation to the pub worker. As he left the dock, the defendant thanked the judge for the opportunity and wished everyone in the courtroom a good day.

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