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Portadown woman told community service is not an ‘a la carte menu’

Craigavon-Courthouse

A Portadown woman has been told that community service is not an “a la carte menu” and to complete the maximum number of hours over next few weeks or face prison.

Jacqueline Boyd, of Princes Way, appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after breaching a previously determined community service order.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon stated that the defendant disputed that she had only missed one appointment through illness, not the three alleged.

He added that the problem had been in finding “suitable community service”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “No, the problem was she wanted to pick and choose what she did”.

Mr Vernon said that Boyd had tried to gain work at three charity shops and had been declined by all.

He went on to stated that the defendant had now started work “picking up litter twice a week”.

It was heard that Boyd had completed just 25 hours of the 240 which she had been assigned.

Judge Kelly commented: “Given the charges, you can count yourself very lucky you got community service”.

She added: “You were declined by the charity shops – community service is not an a la carte menu”.

Judge Kelly then stated that the case would be adjourned until January 16, during which the defendant would have to complete 63 hours – the maximum she could in that time.

She said: “Do the hours or you will go to prison, not one single excuse will be accepted.

“If you are sick, you best be in the back of an ambulance from your home to hospital”.

The judge finished by warning Boyd: “If you even complete 62 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds you will be going to prison”.

The case will return to court on January 16.

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