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Burnley man in suicide bid after court order pressure
2:00pm Thursday 22nd May 2014 in News
AN offender struggling with the pressures of work and community service tried to hang himself from a tree in a secluded Burnley wood, a court was told.
Jack Brooks, 21, had called police just before he did it to tell them where he was, as he didn’t want anybody else finding him.
His solicitor, Richard Taylor, told the town’s crown court: “They reacted quickly. They believed he was dead when they got to him, but he was resuscitated and taken to hospital.”
The hearing was told Brooks, who had flouted a suspended jail term, had since been seen by mental health workers who concluded there were no signs of depression and that he had had a ‘crisis moment’ – something that prompted one judge to say he was astonished and it didn’t make any sense.
In March, Brooks had received 12 months in prison, suspended for a year, with 12 months’ supervision, the Resolve programme and 180 hours unpaid work. He was given the sentence after admitting possessing an offensive weapon and arson.
The defendant had turned up drunk and with a knife at The Victoria pub on Colne Road, Burnley, in the early hours in January and had threatened to stab a terrified barmaid. He had also set fire to a wheelie bin.
He appeared in court on Tuesday where a breach hearing was told he had done 15-and- a-half hours of the work.
Mr Taylor said Brooks, of Walsden Grove, Burnley, tried to take his life on May 9 when things got too much for him, but was found in time. He added: “He was very fortunate.”
The solicitor said Brooks had had alcohol abuse problems in the past, but had sorted them out. Mr Taylor added: “He had alcohol on the day he attempted suicide, but he says that’s the only time he has drunk since.”
Brooks, who was living at the family home, was now not allowed out at night on his own.
Probation officer Nicholas Powell said Brooks had no enduring mental illness. He had been seen by a crisis team after discharging himself from a mental health ward in Chorley. Mr Powell said: “He was struggling, trying to balance work and unpaid work.”
Recorder Nicholas Clarke, QC, told Brooks he had not applied himself to the order and had to give it priority, otherwise he would end up behind bars.
Brooks was given a three-month curfew, between 8pm and 7am.