Guildford man sent to prison after breaching his Criminal Behaviour Order
A man has been sentenced to a year in prison after continually breaching the conditions of his Criminal Behaviour Order.
Ben Etherington, 37, from Guildford, pleaded guilty to two breaches of his five-year CBO when he appeared at Staines Magistrate’s Court on Monday (29 October). The order was granted in March to tackle his persistent drunken and anti-social behaviour in Surrey, which significantly impacts upon a number of local hospitals.
Etherington committed the breaches whilst he was subject to a suspended sentence, made on 18 October in relation to a further breach of his CBO. All three breaches related to him being intoxicated and behaving in an anti-social manner.
At the original hearing when the CBO was granted, held on 12 March, Magistrates were presented with in excess of 400 pages of evidence from the Surrey Police Anti-Social Behaviour Team outlining Etherington’s threatening and abusive behaviour over a number of years mainly impacting on ambulance and hospital staff.
The court heard that Etherington would attend Frimley Park Hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Farnham Road Hospital and St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, and act in an abusive and sexually inappropriate manner towards hospital staff. He would often present himself at these local hospitals, sometimes multiple times daily, and then refuse to leave once treated.
Since the Order was granted in March, Etherington was frequently arrested for his drunk and disorderly behaviour not only in Guildford, but in other areas of Surrey, such as Manor Court in Weybridge and in Spelthorne. The CBO was extended to prohibit Etherington from attending these locations following an application before the court by Surrey Police on 5 October.
The current conditions of the Criminal Behaviour Order prohibit Etherington from:
• Attending or loitering outside the grounds of Frimley Park Hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Farnham Road Hospital or St Peter’s Hospital Chertsey unless he requires emergency medical treatment or has a prior appointment confirmed in writing;
• Remaining inside or loitering outside the grounds of Frimley Park Hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital or Farnham Road Hospital once he has been discharged and asked to leave by hospital staff or a police officer;
• Entering or loitering outside of the Community Centre, Beverley Hall, 71 Haydon Place, Guildford at any time whilst issued with a formal banning letter from Guildford Action.
• Entering Manor Court, Elmbridge, at any time;
• being drunk in public in Guildford Town Centre;
• being in possession of, or consuming from, any open container/vessel of alcohol in public, in Guildford Town Centre;
• Behaving in a manner or inciting others to behave in a manner, either verbally or physically which causes, or is likely to cause, alarm, harassment or distress to any person in the county of Surrey.
Lucy Lumsden from the ASB Team at Surrey Police said: “I hope that this sentence will give much needed respite to the local community, the emergency services and NHS staff from Etherington’s abusive and threatening behaviour.
“Going forward, we will continue to work with partner agencies to ensure that Etherington is given every opportunity to turn his life around.”