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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70181
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi I got charged with section 4 use threatening behaviour and

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Hi I got charged with section 4 use threatening behaviour and insulting words I was basically drunk in a pub and was swearing at bar staff and I swung a punch but no connection. I have had a charge of ABH 3-4 years ago and a couple of Drink Drivings in 2000 and 2001 but nothing else apart from that. I'm seriously worried about going to prison, I own my own business that employs 4 people which I couldn't run if in prison and also a house with mortgage that couldn't keep without my business. I realise I have a drink problem for which I have started alcohol counselling.
I've just been worried sick for last 2 days. What kind of sentence do you think I could expect?

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What were the circumstances of the ABH please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi it was in a pub and a through a glass at a bar staff in a pub it did not smash and left a small bruise under there eye

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Did you get my reply?


You cannot hide from the similarity then but it is quite old which is always helpful. Unfortunately they are likely to find out the circumstances because they will almost certainly get probation to write a report upon you and the facts of the conviction will come out then. You will just have to make the best of it.

From what you say, it probably falls into the middle sentencing bracket. Its too serious for the first one but not serious enough for the third. That suggests a starting point of a high level order and a range of a low one to 12 weeks custody. Those guidelines are for a man of good character pleading not guilty. You are not of good character but I imagine you will plead so the two tend to cancel each other out.

Beyond the usual public drunkenness issue though there isn't really much aggravation here and people don't generally go to prison for s4 on second relevant offences.

Overall, they will consider custody but its unlikely to lead to custody. If they do they will have to justify not suspending it and there is t really one here.

With pub incidents a curfew usually addresses the criminality rather well.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi what do you mean if they do they will have to justify suspending it which there isn't one here? Will it help that I own my own business, house and that I've taken steps to resolve my drinking problems.

What do you think is the most likely conviction if a plead guilty and tell them about my drinking problems which I will be actively seeking help out for now and until my court date on 12th August?


Not really. The issue isn't your circumstances but the gravity of your offending.

In relation to taking steps to address your drinking, it depends what you mean. If its that you took steps since the ABH but before the S4 then I wouldn't out that before the court. That would mean you don't even have an alcohol dependency to rely upon.

If you are saying this is caused by alcohol issues then probation may assess you suitable for an alcohol order. It depends on your specific issues though as people commit offences in drink all the time without having dependency issues.

It depends what probation assess. I wouldn't expect custody as I have already said above.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi no I have alcohol dependency for a few years that has got increasingly worse over the last 6 months it has been eclipsed by this which has obviously led me to seek help for which I am starting AA meetings.


The drink has become a real problem for me and this has really highlighted that. I just can't face going to prison I think that would ruine my whole life.

I don't think thats likely overall here.

They are going to be looking at any alternative.
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