Notorious Burnley alcoholic gets one last chance after flouting suspended jail term

A WELL-KNOWN drunk has been given another last chance to work with those trying to help him, despite flouting a suspended jail term within 24 hours.

Paul Manley, 46, had stolen a £3.99 bottle of wine from Burnley Sainsbury's the day after he had been handed the suspended term, which had included an alcohol treatment programme, in November. He has been offending for almost 30 years and has 221 offences on his record.

The town's crown court was told how Manley, a chronic alcoholic, had in the past claimed many times he wanted to kick his addiction, but had breached the 'huge numbers' of community orders he had been given.

Now, it wasn't just his freedom that was at risk, but his life, as he had recently had a heart attack and surgery.

Manley told the hearing he almost died and wanted to change his ways before he ended up 'in a box' and a judge warned him: "The greatest likelihood is you will suffer a premature death and an extremely painful and unpleasant death. The state of your liver, I can imagine, does, not bear scrutiny."

The defendant was said to have hit the bottle again the day after the suspended term was imposed as he found out his partner's mother had died while he had been custody and was grief-stricken. He was back in court over the theft on the day of her funeral.

Judge Christopher Cornwall has now given Manley until April 4, to show that actions speak louder than words, by deferring sentence. He told the defendant: "I don't believe you. Prove me wrong."

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