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Man to appeal jail term after failing to comply with probation and community service

He claimed a broken wrist and family bereavement prevented him engaging but was given a prison sentence despite defence asking for 'one final chance'

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A man who claimed that a broken wrist and family bereavement prevented him engaging with probation and community service is to appeal against a two month prison sentence.

The 27-year-old’s barrister had asked for “one final chance”, however, the district judge pointed out that this was the defendant’s second breach for non-engagement.

James Livingstone, of Castle Drive in Caledon, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, for the purposes of a combination order being revoked.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “He instructs that he had a broken wrist and a family bereavement, that caused just an ongoing problem.

“He leads a useful life, there is work in him and he instructs that if the court was minded to give him one further chance that he would discharge the order.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “This order was imposed in March of last year. How long had he a broken wrist for? I mean, how long was his wrist in plaster? Six weeks out of 52.”

Asking for “one final chance”, Mr Lannon said that his client understood the seriousness of the matter and that was why he was in attendance.

However, District Judge Kelly stated: “He did get one final chance, because a warrant was issued on August 27, of last year, that was executed on October 13, last year.

“Given certain stabilising lifestyle factors, probation decided then to withdraw their breach application ….so this is the second breach for the same thing, so he was given a second chance and he chose not to avail of it.”

Commenting that a community order was a “direct alternative to a custodial sentence”, the judge sentenced Livingstone to two months in prison.

Mr Lannon made the court aware of his client’s wish to appeal sentence and Livingstone was granted his own bail of £500 pending appeal.

Conditions of bail included; not to enter licensed premises, not to consume alcohol and not to consume drugs which have not been prescribed by a doctor.

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