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Christmas Day threats

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A threatening drunk brought fear to Nelson families on Christmas Day when he banged on their doors with a chair leg, a court heard.

Anthony Smith (29) had downed a litre bottle of gin, a present, between 8am and noon and had been refused entry to a festive lunch for the homeless at Christ Church because of his condition.

Smith, a crack cocaine and heroin addict, was in such a state he was "bouncing off the walls" of the police van after he was arrested, Burnley magistrates were told.

Miss Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said police received a call and found the defendant who was upset and told them he had lost family members at Christmas.

He was asked to leave the area and about 20 minutes later, officers got a second call from a member of the public on Smith Street, saying Smith had been banging on the doors of two houses with a "baseball bat" and had been quite threatening and aggressive.

Miss Akhtar said half an hour later, police received a third call from Pine Street, reporting a very drunk man banging on a door. Officers attended and were also flagged down by a taxi driver, who told them they needed to go to Pine Street. Smith was sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle and and fully complied with officers.

Mr Sardar Asghar (defending) told the hearing: "He appears today deeply ashamed and he wishes to apologise to all parties involved. He was emotional. He lost his mother at the age of 12 around Christmas time and he lost his father at the age of 17."

The defendant had travelled from Barnoldswick to Nelson to attend the lunch, but had been refused entry because of the state he was in. He couldn't explain why he went to the houses.

A probation officer who interviewed Smith said: "He has started misusing crack cocaine over the last two years. He uses one bag of heroin a day."

Smith, of Bank Street, Barnoldswick, admitted using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour. He was given six months' supervision, with a drugs rehabilitation requirement. He was fined £10 and was told to pay £30 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.