Houghton woman convicted 28 times for being drunk and disorderly

A Houghton woman has been convicted for being drunk and disorderly for the 28th time.

Defender Nick Moore insisted Deborah Smith, 49, of Fountains Crescent, Burnside, is not in fact an alcoholic and her behaviour is voluntary.

However, she had turned on police when they found her intoxicated in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, on Friday, November 17.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard she became aggressive when officers tried to persuade her to return to the borough’s hospital for treatment.

She had discharged herself after being admitted for care after her head was stamped on during an attack.

But instead of receiving further medical attention, she was taken into custody when her mood turned to anger.

Prosecutor Paul Coulson said: “The facts come from a police officer’s statement.

“Police were in Prince Edward Road, following a report of the defendant absconding from hospital when intoxicated.

“They found her unsteady on her feet, slurring her words and smelling of alcohol. She refused to go back to hospital.

“Officers approached her to see if they could take her back, but she wasn’t willing. She became increasingly aggressive to them.

“She has 36 convictions from 56 offences, 27 are for being drunk and disorderly.”

Smith pleaded to a charge of being drunk and disorderly in public, her first offence since February. Before that, her last court appearance was in 2015.

Mr Moore told the hearing: “She’s 49 years of age and, despite her record of drunk and disorderly, has no issues with alcohol. She drinks when she feels like it.

“There was minimal disturbance. She had been in hospital as a result of an assault earlier that night.

“When she was advised that a gentleman had stamped on her head, she was taken to hospital, but she did not wait and left.

“Her record doesn’t look great. She was given a six-month conditional discharge in February, and prior to that it was eight years ago.”

Smith sobbed when magistrates sentenced her to a 12-month conditional discharge, with a £26 victim surcharge. There were no court costs.