Delicatessen owner gets suspended jail sentence

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The owner of a Louth delicatessen, who has four times broken a restraining order, is ‘drinking himself to death’, a court has been told.

John Stuart Mcleod, 68, of Bridge Street, had admitted breaking the order and was appearing for sentence at Skegness Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, said the restraining order was imposed in September 2013 after Mcleod was convicted of harassing his former partner of 15 years, Sarah Maloney.

He said problems with alcohol and a sadness at the ending of the relationship, meant that Mcleod kept on contacting Ms Maloney.

Mr Wood said Ms Maloney was said to be ‘frustrated’ at the the failure of the law to deal with the problem.

Mark Davies, for the Probation Service, said Mcleod had suffered ‘notable mental deterioration’ and arrangements had been made for him to attend a six week residential detoxification programme, but he had left after becoming free of alcohol but before he had completed the programme.

Mr Davies said that on the night of his leaving the programme, he had started drinking again and it was not possible for him to continue with the programme.

Nicholas Alderson, mitigating, said that Mcleod’s credentials were impeccable until the breakdown of his relationship and all the offences had taken place after that.

He said Mcleod’s contacts with Ms Maloney were ‘upsetting’ but ‘not violent’ but he had reached the stage where he had no intention of contacting the lady again.

He said Mcleod was ‘an alcoholic living above an off-licence’. “He is drinking himself to death”, he said, and suggested that maybe it was the time for Mcleod to sell his business.

The judge told Mcleod that he had made the conscious decision to leave the course which was trying to help him and that he knew that if he breached the restraining order he would go to prison.

He said his contacts with Ms Maloney were ‘low level but persistent breaches’ and were ‘causing psychological damage to the victim’. “My concern is for her,” he said.

He sentenced Mcleod to 14 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, with a 12 month community order with six months alcohol treatment.