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Sunday, 19 April 2015

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Barrow help group founder abused nursing staff

THE co-founder of a Barrow alcohol support group broke down in court as he recalled reaching his “lowest place ever”, following his arrest for being drunk and disorderly in public.

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Mark Reeve, who helped set up New Roots, which offers advice to recovering addicts in Barrow, swore at staff in Furness General Hospital on January 10.

Reeve was verbally abusive towards nurses after arriving at the hospital’s A&E department at 1.30am. He was arrested at the scene by a police officer.

The 52-year-old pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a public place at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Reeve, of Cheviot Green, Barrow, wept as he described how family troubles had caused him to return to drink.

Representing himself in court, he said: “Around two-and-a-half years ago I started to address my problem with alcohol.

“I co-founded New Roots in Barrow and everything had been going well until the end of last year when I got some shocking news.

“I was told that I was not going to see my children at Christmas or New Year. I fell into the lowest place ever.

“I can’t apologise enough for the trouble I’ve caused. I can’t believe what’s happened to me.”

Reeve set up New Roots along with Bob Howarth, and around 35 people use the drop-in service they provide.

The group sessions allow former addicts to discuss any issues they are having, and the project has been nominated for a Love Barrow Award.

Reeve has spoken openly in the past to the Evening Mail about his battles with alcohol.

Mrs Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said that Reeve refused to stop swearing at staff when he visited the hospital.

She said: “He was swearing at staff, telling them: ‘Get lost, I want to go home’.

“He was warned about his behaviour. The staff members and members of the public witnessed all this behaviour.

“He was clearly drunk and he was therefore arrested for being drunk and disorderly.”

Chairman of magistrates, Alison Spurgeon-Dixon, conditionally discharged the case, meaning if Reeve re-offends in the next year he will face punishment for the crime.

He was ordered to pay £85 towards court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Reeve told the magistrates that he was now receiving support from Unity and Cadas, as well as members of his own group.

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