Lotto winner celebrated far too well

A LUCKY lottery card winner’s fortunes ran out when he blew his cash prize on booze and ended up behind bars.

Neil Thorpe frittered away his winnings on a night out in Hartlepool town centre by downing 14 pints of snakebite, and got so drunk that he swore at officers and kicked one policeman in the knee.

Hours earlier, however, the 32-year-old had planned a quiet night in at home - where he lives alone - and had only popped to the shop to buy a few cans and some cigarettes.

But he thought he’d try his luck on a lottery scratchcard and was delighted when he scooped £100.

At that point, his plans for the night changed and he decided to go into town to celebrate, buying pint after pint of snakebite - a lager and cider mix.

The next thing Thorpe said he remembered was waking up in a police cell.

Prosecuting, Lynne Dalton told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “The defendant was out drinking in Hartlepool into the early hours of the morning and he was described as being extremely intoxicated.

“At 1.50am he began to cause problems outside of Rockies Bar, in Church Street, so door staff alerted police.

“The defendant was abusive and aggressive and swore saying he ‘hadn’t done nowt’.”

He carried on being abusive to the police officers and also to passing revellers who he told: “I’ll knock you out.”

Mrs Dalton added: “Despite warnings about his behaviour he continued and as a result he was arrested. He struggled violently when he was arrested and had to be handcuffed and taken to the police station where he continued to be unco-operative.

“As he was led off to the cells he kicked out at an officer, making contact with the officer’s left knee causing him pain and discomfort but no visible injury.”

Unemployed Thorpe told officers that on a one-to-10 scale of drunkenness he would have been 10, and told them that he “couldn’t remember a thing”.

Visibly-upset Thorpe, of Wilson Street, in the town centre area of Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty, both on January 22.

Mitigating, Ken Barrow, said: “He tells me he’d gone out to the off-licence to buy a few cans of drink to have in his house but when he got there he bought a lottery scratchcard and won £100.

“Unfortunately that’s when his luck came to an end, because then he went out with the £100 he won on the scratchcard. He had 14 pints of snakebite and then awoke in the cells.

“He immediately apologised for his behaviour that night, he has no recollection of it.”

Chairman of the bench William Grainger fined Thorpe £95, ordered him to pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.