‘Headbanger’ in booze-ban breach

Ian Luke Gofton
Ian Luke Gofton

A YOB breached a tough alcohol banning order by banging on a pub door in the early hours and abusing the landlord when he would not give him a drink.

Ian Luke Gofton appeared in the Mail in February after being slapped with a year-long drink banning order for repeatedly smashing his own head and face against the cage of a police van after he was arrested for threatening police officers.

Just three months later the 21-year-old yob tried to head-butt the landlord of a pub who would not let him in for a drink because it was shut.

Gofton, who earns £320 a week working for Caterpillar in Peterlee, appeared at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to breaching the drink banning order on May 21.

The court heard he had downed eight cans of lager and several vodkas before he walked past The Saxon pub, in Easington Road, in Hartlepool, at 1am.

Prosecuting, Lilian Atkinson said: “It was 1am and the defendant went to The Saxon pub while it was closed and banged on the fire door.

“The landlord opened the fire door and the defendant asked him for a drink. The landlord refused and told him that the pub was closed.

“Gofton then became abusive towards the landlord saying ‘come out here and I’ll kick you all over’ before trying to headbutt him.

“The landlord closed the door immediately and contacted the police who arrested Gofton the next day. In interview he said he did not realise what time it was.”

Mitigating, Barry Gray told justices that his client was very sorry for his actions that night and is “remorseful”.

“He’s quite ashamed of himself because he had cut back in his drinking and was extremely surprised to hear how he had reacted the following morning,” he said.

“Mr Gofton is a working man and he is very embarrassed about what he’s done.

“He doesn’t have a drink problem, he seems to have a problem with drink when he does drink.”

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Keith Fisher said: “I’m not going to lecture you, but I’m very impressed that you work at Caterpillar earning the money you are earning. There are lots of young men at your age who would love to swap places with you.

“You know better than I do what you are jeopardising here. I have to say if I was your boss I wouldn’t be too impressed with you appearing before the court yet again.”

Mr Fisher fined Gofton, of John Howe Gardens, Hartlepool, £100, ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Gofton’s drink banning order is to prevent him being abusive to anyone while under the influence of alcohol, and bans him from entering the area and pubs from Middleton Grange Shopping Centre to the Church Street area from 8pm to 7am.