Problem drinker in court after falling off the wagon

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A man landed himself in court on a drunk and disorderly charge for hurling abuse at police officers after downing alcohol for the first time in seven months.

Stuart Eunson was found lying on the street shouting and swearing by police who had been alerted to reports of a drunken man in the area.

The 33-year-old, of Russell Street, Jarrow, became embroiled in an angry exchange with the officers and admitted a charge of being drunk and disorderly when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Eunson had been battling booze problems for 14 years – but ended a prolonged period of abstinence to cope with a family setback.

Justin Gibson, prosecuting, said: “Police were called out to reports of a drunken male in the street at about 3pm on August 30.

“They saw the defendant lying on the ground, on Lynwood Way, in South Shields, shouting and swearing. It was clear he was drunk. He swore at the officers and was arrested.”

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “He tells me he had been assaulted, which is why he was on the ground. He says the police asked him his name but only heard him say his middle name.

“He says they were being difficult and he accepts he swore at them.

“He has had a drinking problem for 14 years but hadn’t had a drink since March until this day.

“He had found out his father had suffered a heart attack and was drinking to deal with that.

“He is desperate to kick his alcohol problems. This was not a relapse, it was a blip.”

Eunson was given a six month conditional discharge and must pay a criminal courts charge of £150 as well as a £15 victim surcharge.