Court bans Sunderland alcoholic from seeing his own parents

editorial image
Have your say

A MAN battling a booze problem has been banned from contacting his family after harassing them.

Reece Vipond was served with a harassment order, preventing him from pestering his parents, after police were called to their house in Sunderland on February 18.

However, the 33-year-old ignored the order and returned to their home two hours later when he banged on their door, demanding money for a taxi and cider.

Vipond pleaded guilty to harassment and possession of cannabis at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said the former alcoholic had been clean for four years, but had fallen off the wagon after a relationship break-up and had been downing four cans of lager and a bottle of vodka a day, for four weeks leading up to his arrest.

He said: “He would describe his behaviour when drunk as annoying, but not violent, but he accepts his life has spiralled out of control due to alcohol.

“He did not realise he had been served with this notice, as he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.”

The court heard that Vipond, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, harassed his family by sending them unwanted text messages between January 8 and February 18.

Mr Anderson added: “He said he was only trying to get help and did not think the messages were abusive, but in the cold light of day could see how they could be described as harassment.”

Vipond claimed he used cannabis for medicinal reasons.

Joanne Gatens, defending, said Vipond had turned back to alcohol after splitting with his partner, who he thought had a new boyfriend.

She said: “That was very difficult for him and he went back to using his age-old crutch.

“That sent him into a depression that he could not control.”

She said Vipond suffers from agoraphobia and was now back in contact with his parents who he relied on heavily.

Mrs Gatens told magistrates that his father brought him to court and he worked with him at Harbour View Motors, in Roker, washing cars.

She added: “He has his benefits paid into his mother’s account and she calls him daily to make sure he is okay and is taking his medication.”

Despite Mrs Gatens’s mitigation, the chairwoman of the bench gave Vipond a two-year harassment order, banning him from contacting his parents or sister.

He must also serve a 12-month community order, with a electronically-monitored curfew from 10pm to 7am.