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Lad is walking ad for cheap booze - judge

Maidstone crown court
Maidstone crown court

A yob who drank 24 cans of lager and two litres of cider a day was described by a judge as "a walking advertisement" for those who say alcohol is available too cheaply.

Judge Philip Statman had demanded to know how Nicky Welfare could afford to down such a large quantity of booze.

Louise Oakley, defending, said the 21-year-old earned over £200 a week and could buy the Stella lager for as little as £1 a can.

Welfare and Daniel Brown, 25, were appearing at Maidstone Crown Court to be sentenced for criminal damage. Brown was also being sentenced for dangerous driving.

Brown had attempted to steal two packs of the lager from the On the Run service station in Strood on March 8 last year.

When the doors were shut so that they were trapped, the pair set off a fire extinguisher.

As a result the service station had to close for two days, causing disruption and financial loss.

The judge said as the damage was put at under £5,000 his powers were limited to imposing three months jail.

"I also know that giving you credit for pleading guilty, as I must, were I to send you to prison within a matter of weeks you would be out in the community no doubt up to you old tricks again," he said.

Judge Philip Statman
Judge Philip Statman

"Well, I am going to make life for each of you, may I say, more difficult than that."

While on bail, Brown was spotted riding a motorcycle in Rochester despite being banned. He then drove off hitting speeds of up to 90mph. During the chase a police car was damaged.

The judge said he was going to take a non-custodial course because of his limited powers.

Welfare, of Poplar Road, Strood, was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment suspended for two years. He was also ordered to receive alcohol treatment for six months, be under a curfew for four months and do 120 hours community payback.

Brown, of King Street, Rochester, was sentenced to 48 weeks suspended for two years, with 200 hours community payback and a curfew for four months.

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