Published: 00:01, 08 February 2018
A drunken reveller asked a police officer to arrest him so he would have somewhere to sleep after a night out, a court was told.
Ryan Abbott, 23, was out drinking in Maidstone in the early hours of January 14 when he got into a fight with another man in Week Street.
Police were called to the scene outside Grill 91 restaurant and found Abbott, of Shallow Avenue, Iwade, in a "heavily intoxicated" state, Maidstone Magistrates’ Court heard.
When they spoke to him about what had happened he became confrontational, and demanded the officers take him home, claiming he was unable to do so himself.
They offered to accompany him to a nearby taxi rank but Abbott said cars would refuse to take him after his clothing had been torn during the earlier scuffle.
He then told the officers he wished to be arrested so he could have somewhere to stay for the night. He was then arrested and placed in custody.
Abbott, a machine operator for a recycling company, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in a public place.
Representing himself, he told the court: “My shirt had been totally ripped off my back.
“It was a cold night and no taxi, in my eyes, was going to take me home in their vehicle.
“In a drunken, stupid state I thought I had no way of making it back.
“It was a stupid mistake and it’s cost me. There’s no excuse for that behaviour and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience.”
Abbott was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Meanwhile, back in 2013 the Association of Chief Police Officers highlighted the issue of police cells being misused, and suggested introducing "drunk tanks" to help forces avoid packing police cells with drunk people incapable of looking after themselves.
Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner at the time, Ann Barnes, supported the idea, which included putting drinkers so intoxicated they could not look after themselves in holding cells run by private companies until they sobered up.
The suggestion was that they would be charged up to £400 and fined for being drunk and disorderly.
Bristol launched Britain’s first "mobile drunk tank" in 2013 as a joint enterprise between police, ambulance and hospital services.
While that idea was never put into practice in Kent, the NHS is currently deciding whether to roll out supervised "drunk tanks" in towns and cities to take pressure off A&E departments and ambulance services.
At peak times, up to 70% of emergency department attendance on Friday and Saturday nights can be alcohol-related.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.