‘If you keep drinking your liver will pack in’

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A 25-year-old man described as a ‘binge drinking alcoholic’ was told that if he carried on drinking his liver would pack in when he appeared last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was Christian Barclay who admitted two sets of offences, one involving thefts and the other concerning motoring matters.

The theft offences took place in June, July and August of last year and included the theft of bottles of Buckfast from the Wine Company, stealing boxes of beer from Tescos in Portadown and the theft of pizza and crisps from Bridge Street filling station.

His address at the time of those offences was given as Edenderry Park, Banbridge.

The motoring offences took place on June 11 last year and his address then was given as Union Street, Portadown.

They included driving while unfit, failing to stop, no licence, no insurance, taking a vehicle without consent, failing to provide a specimen and failing to stop for police on the Carrickblacker Road, Portadown.

The court heard that at 2am on September 7 last year police arrested the defendant in relation to a number of thefts. On June 11 a car didn’t stop for police on the Carrickblacker Road and they were concerned the driver was not in control of the vehicle.

They spoke to the defendant who was driving and there was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor on his breath. Barclay refused to provide a specimen of breath.

The car was owned by his sister who had not given him permission to take the vehicle.

Barclay appeared in the dock at last week’s court and his barrister said his bail had been revoked in relation to a case in Newry.

He added that his client’s record was poor and there was an inevitability that he was going to get custody.

The barrister said Barclay has been a ‘binge drinking alcoholic’ who when he has time on his own turns to drink and cannot help himself.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said that the sad reality was that the defendant was a full grown alcoholic at 25 who will not see 35.

“If you keep drinking your liver is going to pack in,” she told Barclay.

For not having a licence and failing to stop she imposed fines of £100.

For all the other offences she sentenced Barclay to four months in prison with the terms to run concurrently.

On the driving while unfit charge he was banned for 15 months.