An 18-year-old man who is still paying off fines totalling £2,500, got his request approved in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday, when he asked the judge via his lawyer to lock him up rather than saddle him with yet more fines.
The court heard that Sean de la Haye, who appeared via video link from La Moye Prison, was having difficulties paying existing fines.
It also heard that de la Haye didn’t enjoy doing community service and didn’t think it helped him, and that he’d rather be behind bars.
He still had almost £1,000 in fines to pay off, the court was told, and was facing the prospect of having to pay out even more money after having pleaded guilty to six new offences. These included being a passenger in a stolen car, fighting, causing malicious damage, and theft.
Advocate Sophie Lister, prosecuting, laid out the facts of the case.
In the stolen car incident, the court was told de la Haye and two others were at a party and got hold of the keys without the owner knowing. They had then driven the Ford Fiesta away and later abandoned it at the bottom of Westmount Road with the lights still on.
They’d worn the clutch out, and there was still a strong smell of burning when the car was discovered. It had to be towed away and cost almost £600 to fix.
Pictured: de la Haye appeared in the Magistrate's Court via video link from HMP La Moye.
The fight happened outside the Caesarea pub in Cattle Street in June. CCTV showed de la Haye and another man he’d never met "throwing punches in the street". De la Haye later told the police the man had been "annoying" him.
Also in June, de la Haye smashed the window of the door at McDonald’s because he’d been refused entry. It cost more than £300 to repair.
Finally, in the theft incident from a town supermarket, he’d tried to stuff a pack of four cans of Stella Artois down his shorts, but because there wasn’t enough room, could only manage to hide two of them. When staff caught him, he gave them five £1 notes, which, whilst it didn’t cover the cost of the beers, led de la Haye to claim he was innocent because he’d now paid for them.
Addressing the court on Monday morning, his defence lawyer, Advocate Mark Boothman, described de la Haye as "being in a rut" and wanting to "press the re-set button". He said his client felt that his time in custody was helping him cope with his alcohol issues.
Sentencing, Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris told de la Haye he was, "with some regret", going along with his request and sentenced him to 12 weeks’ youth detention. He also imposed an exclusion order which will prevent de la Haye from going to most licenced premises for four months.
Addressing de la Haye, Mr Harris said it was "evident he had issues with alcohol" and that now was the time to get his life back on track.
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