Court gives Ashley Brennan ‘benefit of doubt’

Honiton ASBO teen released from custody but ordered not to enter shops or pubs.

A Honiton teenager with ‘alcohol problems’ has been given the benefit of the doubt and ordered not to let a court down after being granted bail.

Ashley Brennan, 18, of Lee Close, appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court this morning (Monday) in relation to an alleged breach of an anti-social behaviour order, using threatening words and behaviour, criminal damage and theft.

No pleas were entered and the case has been adjourned until December 22 for sentencing - to allow for CCTV footage to be made available and probation reports to be prepared.

Suzanne Whale, defending, said: “Mr Brennan is still a young man, only 18-years-old, and is from a very difficult background, which is perhaps the reason he is before the court so much at the moment.

“He has not had contact with his mother since he was a baby and his father is an alcoholic.

“He has not lived at home since the age of 14 and that has caused some difficulty.”

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She told the court that Brennan had struggled with problems related to alcohol, which seemed to be the cause of much of his offending, as well as finding accommodation.

She added: “He recognises that he needs to make changes and does not want to continue offending. He is very committed to making this change in his life.”

The chairman of the bench, Gloria Williams, said: “We have thought long and hard about this. You have committed offences whilst you have been on bail before and have been in this court room twice last week.

“You are only 18 and we do not want to stop you getting accommodation and we are encouraged by what we have been told that you do want to get on top of your alcohol problems.

“We are giving you the benefit of the doubt and are expecting you not to let us down.”

Brennan was remanded on conditional bail and must report to the police station in Honiton everyday between noon and 2pm except for Sunday and Monday’s.

He is also prohibited from entering all retail premises and licenses premises, including pubs and clubs.