Sunderland alcoholic with 106 convictions kicked off after being told he could not join football training session

An alcoholic with 255 criminal offences kicked off after being told he could not attend a football training session.

By Gareth Crickmer
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 2:15 pm

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George Brook, 50, did not touch his victim, a staff member at Swan Lodge in High Street East, but made a move towards him, forcing the man into a retreat.

It was enough for Brook, who was staying at the hostel but is now of Heddon Terrace, Murton, to be charged with common assault which requires no physical contact.

The attack on Thursday, January 20, was his 106th criminal conviction from which his overall offences tally arises, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

Swan Lodge, Sunderland.

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Prosecutor Gurjot Kaur said: “The victim is employed by Swan Lodge, a premises which is run by the Salvation Army.

“At about 2pm he had made plans for a football lesson which involved being taken away on a bus.

“Mr Brook was clearly heavily intoxicated and was told that he couldn’t go.

“He became aggressive and made threats. He said he would smash his jaw.

“He stepped into his victim’s space, and the man had to step back. There was no contact, it’s just a common assault.”

The court heard Brook’s last conviction was in November 2019 for making threats and assaulting an emergency worker.

Most of his offences have been committed in Scotland, and he owes £1,400 to the courts in past fines and charges, it was said.

Charlton Carr, defending, said Brook had spent almost a day in custody for what he described as a minor offence.

He added: “It’s significant that he hasn’t been in trouble since 2019.

“He’s a gentleman who is an alcoholic, he has a massive problem with alcohol.

“He’s been doing well over the past two years but had relapsed this day and got drunk.

“To me, this offence was more akin to a drunk and disorderly. There’s no physical contact on the gentleman at the hostel.

“This charge seems a little like overkill. The assault, it’s right at the bottom.”

Brook was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge, with magistrates stating they had taken into account his crime-free past two years.

He must pay £85 court costs and a £22 victim surcharge.