‘You have had a lucky escape’

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A 20-year-old man had an enhanced combination order replaced with a period of probation last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

Kalvin Cull, Chestnut Place, Banbridge, was convicted at the local court last September of interfering with vehicles and theft.

He was given an enhanced combination order of 18 months probation and 100 hours community service.

But the probation service applied to have the order revoked after Cull failed to attend for community service.

A probation officer told last week’s court that the defendant had certain issues and had completed 53 hours with 47 still outstanding.

She said they wanted to have the ordered revoked and Cull re-sentenced.

The officer explained that his community service involved maintenance work at a football stadium.

A barrister representing Cull said it was not the case he didn’t want to engage with probation but he was not physically or mentally robust enough to deal with life.

He added that his client came from a very difficult background and was keen to engage. There was nothing else pending in the pipeline.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, told Cull he had put the court in an awkward situation.

He said he was reluctant to send a young man to prison whose record was comparatively light.

The judge told the defendant had been warned if he didn’t co-operate he would be back in court and he could be looking down the barrel of a seven to eight month sentence.

He added that there was a modicum of success in that he had done some of this work and there was some sympathy for him.

Judge Copeland replaced the enhanced combination order with a period of probation of 12 months.

“You have had a lucky escape,” he told Cull. “I hope you appreciate the work done by your barrister and probation officer. If it happens again then a prison sentence will loom large again.”