Drinking binge leads to court

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A MAN who binged on drink to prove a point with his wife then became aggressive has been given a community order.

Police were called to the family home of Michael Caffrey on New Year’s Day, after a call from his distressed wife, who said he had a baseball bat, a court heard.

Officers who went to the house in Romney Avenue, Columbia, Washington, found drunken Caffrey sitting on the stairs, clutching an 18-inch pickaxe handle in one hand and a can of cider in the other.

He refused to come quietly and police were forced to use CS gas to subdue him.

The 46-year-old father pleaded guilty to affray when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor John Brennan said: “He was shouting at police, ‘come on, come on’. Police discharged their CS gas and at that point he came down the stairs and the police withdrew.

“But then he went back up the stairs, before he was overcome by the effects of the CS gas and fell to his knees.

“In interview, he said he was drinking and had effectively topped himself up from the night before, which was New Year’s Eve.

“He had an argument with his wife and she called the police.”

Defence barrister Glenn Gatland said the couple had been married for 22 years and there was no history of domestic violence.

He said: “Mr Caffrey is a very hardworking, polite, caring, non-violent, family man.

“He had gone out and had too much to drink on New Year’s Eve.

“He had been confronted by his wife about the amount he had drunk, so he foolishly decided to have more to show her he could manage his drink, which he obviously could not.

“The piece of wood was underneath the bed in the family home.

“It had been there for many years and was there in case someone broke into the family home when they were in bed.

“That was the reason it was in the home, as a deterrent to any burglars.

“When his wife called the police, he sat at the top of the stairs, tapping it in his hand, trying to persuade her not to call them.

“The chances of him committing this kind of offence in the future are nil.”

Mr Gatland said Caffrey had also referred himself to the North East Council on Addictions and had cut down his drinking.

Judge Brian Thorn QC imposed a 12-month community order with supervision.

@janethejourno