Boxing contender went off the rails

Mark Denton
Mark Denton

A FORMER promising boxer has been jailed after a catalogue of offences when he went off the rails.

Mark Denton, who was once ranked second middleweight in England, committed a series of criminal damage crimes and a shop theft, many after he had taken a cocktail of drink and pills.

The 30-year-old was caught in a stranger’s house after he had gone looking to buy drugs and walked into the wrong house.

He knocked over a TV set, waking the resident who was asleep on the sofa in the house in Derwent Street, Hartlepool.

On another occasion, Denton stole a bottle of wine from a corner shop after taking 40 anti-depressants mixed with alcohol.

All of the offences were committed within eight days last September.

They started on September 20 when Denton was found with ecstasy and diazepam after reports he was damaging a car in Dent Street.

Despite it just being 9.15am, Denton was clearly intoxicated, said David Crook, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court.

Denton was bailed but went on to steal the bottle of wine from Westhorp’s in Mulgrave Road on September 22.

The shop owner chased after him but backed off when Denton raised the bottle above his head and the shopkeeper thought he was going to be assaulted.

On September 25, Denton was arrested again after damaging a door before damaging the TV in the incident in Derwent Street, on September 28.

Denton was also subject to a suspended 12-month prison sentence after he admitted grievous bodily harm.

He blamed the latest offending on his mum being diagnosed with a serious illness and breaking his hand, which meant he couldn’t box.

“Those two things had a very unfortunate effect on his outlook,” said Jim Withyman, mitigating.

“He was clearly out of control with his drinking at the time.”

Denton, of Granville Avenue, Hartlepool, admitted possessing Class A and C drugs, theft, common assault, and two counts of criminal damage.

Judge John Walford activated the 12- month prison sentence which had previously been suspended and no action was taken on the new offences.

Judge Walford said: “At the drop of a hat you turn to drink or drugs which you then can’t control and you commit offences.

“Clearly you have many good attributes if only you will allow them to take priority over the feckless side of your character which is exemplified by the way you behaved in September last year.”