Chichester man ‘ashamed’ after drunk and disorderly behaviour in bar ‘frightens’ woman

Worthing Magistrates' Court
Worthing Magistrates' Court

A man from Chichester accused of being drunk and disorderly in a bar described his shame when he appeared in court on Friday afternoon (November 16).

Michael Jasper Dagg Heston, of Parklands Road, Chichester, was charged with threatening, or using abusive words, or behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress after an incident in Southgate on Wednesday May 9.

Heston, 31, was also charged with being drunk and disorderly in a public place and being in possession of a controlled drug of class B (amphetamine).

Heston, who pleaded guilty, said his actions were a ‘massive disappointment’ to himself and his family, when appearing at Worthing Magistrates Court.

He added: “I was really drunk and I am guilty. I was stupid and it won’t happen again.

“I am not of proud of it. I am ashamed.”

District judge Amanda Kelly told the court a witness had stated she was left ‘particularly frightened’ by Heston’s behaviour, despite being ‘used to dealing with drunk people’.

Providing mitigating circumstances, Heston’s parole officer said the defendant had recently recovered from cancer treatment and has since ‘drastically reduced’ his alcohol use.

She added: “He had too much to drink - six or seven pints as well as shots. It went too far. He was verbally abusive and unable to control his temper.

“He does have a history in this kind of behaviour but there was a gap. He has been out of control in the past but has been critically ill since 2015 and hasn’t worked.”

The court heard that Heston has also suffered from nerve damage, the specific offences were ‘out of character’ and he had turned his life around.

The parole officer added: “He intends to start shift work at a car company in Hertfordshire and has plans to move in with his new partner in Stevenage.

“The offences were out of character and there was a large gap. There is a low risk.

“He is no longer drinking alcohol or taking drugs. He is positive about his future and wants to start again.”

In his statement to the court, Heston said the offence came after only his second night of drinking alcohol in two years.

He added: “I have stopped drinking. It was the second time I had a drink in two years. The first was for a celebratory night out and on this occasion, I was just with a couple of friends.

“I used to drink quite a lot. I couldn’t handle the six or seven pints I had, my body could no longer take it and I got drunk quicker than expected.”

Judge Kelly, sentencing, gave the defendant credit for the way he has turned his life around, but handed him a community order of 12 months and 120 hours of unpaid work for the possession of a class B drug. He also has to pay £270 costs.

She added: “You used to get into serious trouble [but] I take into account all the positives and the health problems you have had through the years and I am impressed with how you have turned your life around.”

No separate penalty was given for the first two charges.