An alcoholic convicted of assault in his absence has been given a long community order.
Jon Buckley-Mellor was found guilty of beating his sister when he did not show up for trial at Wigan Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.
The bench ordered him to seek alcohol addiction treatment and complete other activities with the probation service as well as pay a small fine.
The court heard the 43-year-old, from Leigh, punched his sister in the back of the head and then grabbed the phone she was using to call police and pushing it across her face.
Buckley-Mellor still denies the assault but Bob Toppin, defending, said he would not contest the guilty verdict or seek to re-open the case as the community sentence offered a prime chance for his client to kick his life-ruining dependence on booze.
Buckley-Mellor admitted there had been a row with his sister and that he had been drinking. But Mr Toppin said his client was looking to the future and the potential that came with receiving probation service help.
He said: “I’ve known and represented him for many years and this is the best opportunity he has had. Drinking every day is no future. He has long-standing problems with alcohol and will use this as a jumping-off point for sorting out the rest of his life.”
In a personal impact statement Buckley-Mellor’s sister Suzanne Pendlebury said she felt scared and intimidated and called her brother a bully. She also told the court during her trial that the argument began after he made false allegations about her own drinking and drug-taking.
The Probation Service told the court Buckley-Mellor drank alcohol on a daily basis and had returned to the bottle following the death of his mother after an 18-months of sobriety. He also suffers from mental illnesses and sometimes self-medicates using drugs bought on the street.
The bench gave him a community order consisting of a six-month alcohol treatment programme and nine days’ rehabilitation activity requirements and also fined him £50. He also has to pay £100 in compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £200 in costs.