A nuisance alcoholic with more than 400 convictions has been turned away from court - after he was seen in a nearby fountain.
Mark Herron, 49, declared last week that he was turning over a new leaf.
But Herron, of Grosvenor Street, Southwick, was refused entry by security staff yesterday, when he was due to appear again before Sunderland magistrates.
He had been bailed to answer a charge of going onto the playing area at the Stadium of Light, on May 11.
Herron was one of a number of arrests after Sunderland’s crucial win against Everton last month.
His solicitor Jason Smith told the court: “He was spotted lying in the fountain outside, because of the state he is in.
“If he did come into court, he would likely fall asleep on the floor or defecate on the floor.”
Mr Smith added that he was surprised that Herron was so drunk, as he had spent the night in police custody, having been arrested on an unrelated matter the previous evening.
“I’m quite surprised that he is in such a state already today,” Mr Smith added.
“He is quite willing to come into court but he is being prevented from doing so.”
Prosecutor Rebecca Laverick said: “If he is not in a fit state to come into court that is of his own doing.”
Bench chairman Helen Midlane said: “Mr Herron is responsible for his own condition. We issue a warrant without bail.”
Heron hit the headlines in the Echo last month when he chalked up his 448th booze-related offence.
He appeared to have cleaned up his act, having been in court just 14 times between January and March this year.
But a family bereavement caused him to fall off the wagon, the court was told.
Herron was back inthe dock after he was spotted asleep on a bench in the front office of Southwick Police Station, clutching a bottle of cider.
The defendant admitted being drunk and disorderly at that hearing.
On that occasion, Mr Smith said of his client: “Mr Herron is an habitual alcohol abuser.
“He is probably before this court more than I am.
“He actually does really try to get past the alcohol abuse and he cleans up.
“The reality is that his mum’s just died, as a consequence he’s still dressed from the funeral last Friday.
The magistrates gave Herron an absolute discharge and awarded no costs, due to his limited means.
“I’m sorry,” an emotional Herron sobbed from the dock.