Convict tells judge to 'get a new hat' after arriving at court drunk

A convict advised a judge to "get a new hat" after he was told he would be put behind bars for the weekend for arriving at court drunk.

Friday, 18th November 2016, 1:23 pm
Updated Monday, 21st November 2016, 12:27 pm
Newcastle Crown Court

Leonard Amess was due to be sentenced this morning at Newcastle Crown Court for an offence of affray but turned up in such a state that the case could not go ahead.

Mr recorder Euan Duff, who said he had been considering giving Amess a community sentence for the affray charge, ordered that the 42-year-old be remanded in custody until Monday to sober up.

As Amess was led away from the dock by security staff to be taken to the cells, he said "Cheers judge. You want to get a new hat mind."

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The judge had told Amess: "I had been hoping to sentence you today but you have turned up in a condition which makes that impossible.

"You will be remanded in custody until Monday morning, when your case will go back in the list.

"You will be sober by then because you wont have had any drink over the weekend while you are in custody and you will be sentenced on Monday morning."

The judge said he had been considering passing a community sentence involving unpaid work before the hearing.

Vic Laffey, defending, told the court it had proved impossible to have a pre-sentence conference with his client or give any advice.

Mr Laffey said: "I would be happier if he were in a position where I was confident he was able to understand what I advised him."

Mr Laffey said he had been advised the Amess, of Westoe Road, South Shields, had a "significant drink problem" but had had no difficulties with him in the past.