Ottery alcoholic 'appalled' at his own action after affray guilty plea

PUBLISHED: 12:12 27 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:37 18 June 2010

AN ALCOHOLIC Ottery man has admitted threatening to rip a Co-Operative worker s throat out, when staff refused to serve him cider.

AN ALCOHOLIC Ottery man has admitted threatening to rip a Co-Operative worker's throat out, when staff refused to serve him cider.

Francis Maclean, 46, of Church View, pleaded guilty to an affray charge before Central Devon Magistrates, sitting in Exeter, on Tuesday and will appear in the city's crown court for sentencing next month.

The court heard how on the evening of January 22 Maclean, a former herion addict, was refused an "alcoholic's tipple" of three litres of dry white cider by Co-op staff who believed he had already had too much to drink.

An "argument" ensued where Maclean said "something to the effect of you will serve me or I will rip your throat out". He was then served and apologised before he leaving the Yonder Street store.

Defending Mr Maclean, Niall Brooks asked magistrates not to send the matter to crown court for sentencing and said:

"Mr Maclean is a registered alcoholic who has weaned himself off herion and is attending voluntary action.

"He is a man trying to keep on top of his alcoholism, who, on one particular day reacted, in the context of an affray, very, very badly.

"He says this is something that has frightened him as much as the victims- he does not understand what came over him and is so appalled with his actions he has gone to his doctor to seek help."

Magistrates said they did not have the powers to deal with the offence and committed it to crown court.

Maclean did not enter a plea to a charge of possessing an offensive weapon. He will appear back before magistrates in April for the matter to be committed to crown court.

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