Sunderland man banned from McCoys bakeries and ex-wife's neighbourhood warned 'alcohol will kill him' after incident

A man broken by a failed marriage and alcohol abuse risks death, his defence solicitor told a court

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 4:55 am

Greg Flaxen warned Paul Hepple, 43, will either die by his own hand from alcohol misuse or in an accident while intoxicated.

Representing Hepple at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, he said: “Alcohol will kill him one way or another, be it alcohol directly or a bus.”

Hepple, of Thomson Road, Southwick, appeared for sentencing after being found guilty at trial of breaching a 10-year restraining order to stay away from his ex-wife.

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The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The order was imposed by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court in March 2019 after he breached an original command to let her be.

It prohibits Hepple from contact, and further bans him from entering parts of Downhill, Sunderland, and any city branch of bakery retailer McCoys.

But its tough terms were not enough to keep him away from her home, which he stood outside of while she was absent on Monday, May 17.

During the unwanted visit, he shouted a threat, which was overheard by his former mother-in-law.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told the court the marriage had failed due to ongoing domestic issues.

In a statement, Hepple’s ex said she became aware he was outside her home – and in breach of the order – in a call.

Mrs Beck added: “It has also been alleged that he went to the bakery where she works and banged on its windows.”

Mr Flaxen said Hepple had been a highly regarded bathroom fitter until the collapse of his marriage had turned him towards alcohol.

He added: “His employer considers him to have been the best at that time, but unfortunately, his marriage started to break down.

“This was a father living in a stable home, he’s been heartbroken. What he consumes in alcohol, it’s unbelievable that he’s with us.”

Magistrates sentenced Hepple to a 24-month community order, with a nine-month alcohol treatment order and 40 days of rehabilitation work.

He is excluded from entering Keighley Square by a GPS monitoring tag and the restraining order was tightened to prevent him going near McCoys in Chester Road.

He must pay a £85 victim surcharge.

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