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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Alcoholic ex-soldier stole bottle of wine in Barrow

THE tragic loss of his wife led a former military man to descend into a life of alcohol abuse supported by petty theft.

Mark Andrew Martin had previously been in the army before being offered a respected job driving high-ranking officers in the south of the country, Furness Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday. But after moving back to Barrow and the death of his wife, he struggled to cope.

Martin, of Low White Close, Barrow, pleaded guilty to stealing a £2.99 bottle of wine from Home Bargains in Dalton Road, Barrow on Monday.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, told the court the 46-year-old had never committed a crime until July of this year but this was not his first theft offence this month.

In police interview, the defendant said he had consumed a lot of alcohol the night before and was still drunk when he walked into town. He could not remember anything about the theft but did not deny any of the facts put to him.

He admitted to being an alcoholic and said he was being given help by his GP.

Mrs Jane Tunn, defending, said: “Mr Martin’s record of previous convictions is very unusual and it reflects a man in crisis.

“He did have a good career in the army and, after leaving, he was selected to be an Ministry of Defence driver – a very responsible job.

“He made a decision, with his wife, to move back to Barrow but she died as a young woman three-and-a-half years ago. One very possible explanation for his alcoholism is he just hasn’t been able to cope with his grief.”

Mrs Tunn explained that, having realised he had a drink problem, Martin gave up his job as a bus driver in Barrow and is seeking help with his alcoholism from a number of agencies.

By committing another theft, the defendant breached a conditional discharge for his two previous theft convictions. The magistrates decided that the supervision order he received should continue, and gave him a six-week curfew between 5pm and 7am.

Martin was ordered to pay £2.99 compensation and a £60 surcharge.

Have your say

I dont know this chap, but I do wish him all the very best & hope that he finds some support, If he is wise he maybe able to see this as a wake up call, but right now would be a great opportunity for him to talk to some one he trusts & find that support he needs, Good luck fella !

Posted by Stephen Turner on 28 August 2014 at 23:54

Why put such an article on the website? Someone's unfortunate circumstances clearly out of his own control... Broadcast as NEWS by the brilliant & sensitive NWEM for the world to see. Give the guy a break!

Posted by Bob on 28 August 2014 at 14:20

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