Ex-army man blows last chance

A FORMER army serviceman from Scarborough has been jailed after he displayed “blatant disregard” for a series of court orders.

Thomas Butler, 22, of Westbourne Grove, failed to comply with the conditions of a community order on three occasions before he was given a final chance in the form of a suspended sentence.

However, he failed to take his last opportunity, missing unpaid work appointments on July 21 and August 25.

Giving details of the breaches, Lesley Wray, of the Probation Service, said: “An order was imposed for previous breaches of another community order.

“He breached that order in January this year, but it was allowed to continue.

“He was then due before Scarborough magistrates in April but failed to attend.”

After a warrant was issued for Butler’s arrest, the community order was allowed to continue with an extra 50 hours of unpaid work added as punishment for the breach.

He then failed to comply with the order on a third occasion in June, and once again failed to turn up for his hearing in court.

A warrant was then again issued for Butler’s arrest.

The order was revoked in July and the ex-serviceman was handed a 13-week suspended prison sentence.

Ms Wray added: “He shows blatant disregard for the order. Since he transferred to Scarborough in March there have been 14 unacceptable absences.

“We feel he does not present as capable of completing the order, we ask the court to consider invoking the suspended sentence.

“Every time he breaches the order the only way we can get him to court is with a warrant.”

Franklyn Garvey, mitigating, attempted to persuade magistrates that it would be unjust to send his client to jail.

He claimed Butler had missed the appointments as he had been working as a steward at a series of events.

Mr Garvey said: “This defendant did not want to rely on state handouts. He said ‘I want to try and make it myself.’

“Those are admirable sentiments but when you have a court order it must come top of the list. This is where so many people fall down.”

He added: “He was a member of the army but left after three years. It took him a period of time to realise that was the wrong career choice.”

Magistrates imposed 10 weeks of the 13-week sentence and Butler was led to the cells.