Man caused damage in betting shop fracas

Ladbrokes Langney Road Eastbourne. March 20th 2013 E12170P
Ladbrokes Langney Road Eastbourne. March 20th 2013 E12170P

A customer who saw red after being refused a 10p bet has been ordered to pay compensation after lashing out and causing damage to the shop.

Simon Meech went into Ladbrokes in Langney Road on the afternoon of March 2 and spoke to a member of staff. But after being told a 10p bet was too low he began swearing and was asked to leave. Meech, of Longstone Road, leant over the counter in an intimidating manner and picked up a till containing a monitor and keyboard, threw it down and then pulled open the main door and kicked out, causing a glass panel to smash.

At a hearing at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday this week the 32-year-old pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage.

Robert Gregory, defending, said his client had had four cans of beer and felt drunk when he went into the shop and committed the offence.

He added, “The reason for him drinking was at the time he was out of work and suffering depression. Drinking alcohol is a form of escapism.”

He said his client was refused the bet and alcohol took effect and he became aggressive.

He added, “There’s no estimate in terms of costs.

“He does accept he does have a bit of a drink problem, he has sought help for that and has not had a drink since March 2. He went to his GP for support and has been to Health in Mind and attended counselling sessions.

“He has found the talking has helped more than any medication could. His actions were relatively out of character.

“I’m inviting the court in light of him taking steps to address his alcohol consumption and address his depression by going to Health in Mind it might be proportionate for a conditional discharge.”

Meech was ordered to pay £50 compensation and given an 18 month conditional discharge. He was also reminded to pay outstanding fines that he owes.