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Bradworthy man who brandished axe allowed home after beating the booze

By This is NorthDevon  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Exeter Crown Court

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A judge has allowed an abusive husband to return to his family home after hearing how he has overcome his problems of drinking through almost two years of work with probation officers.

Andrew Morris, 43, was banned from his home in Bradworthy and forced to live with his mother-in-law in Holsworthy after a violent axe rampage in which he smashed every window in the house and threatened family, neighbours and police.

The ban was lifted by a judge after he said it was ‘a joy’ to hear how well Morris has performed on a supervision order which was aimed at tackling his drink problem.

Morris, of Langdon Road, Bradworthy, admitted affray, possessing an offensive weapon, and two charges of criminal damage when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court in July 2011.

At that time he was given a 51 week jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to attend an alcohol rehabilitation programme. He was also ordered to live away from home.

The Judge who heard the original case described his behaviour as ‘drunken madness’ and a rampage after hearing how a domestic dispute escalated into violence.

Morris smashed the windows in his own home and left his axe buried in a neighbour’s front door before throwing other weapons at police and telling them they would never take him alive. At the time he had drunk 20 to 30 beers.

A very different picture of heavily built 6’4’’ Morris emerged when he returned to the same court where Mr Gareth Evans, on behalf of the probation service, asked for his supervision order to be ended five months early because of his good progress.

He said: "He has responded well to the order and engaged in work and discussions and done very well on an alcohol rehabilitation course. He has continued to progress to the point where he feels alcohol has no place in his life.

“He is in employment and working well and this has had a stabilising effect on him and given him the incentive to work with his wife to sort out his issues.

“We are asking the court to remove his requirement for supervision and the residency condition which required him to life at an address in Glebe Meadow in Holsworthy.”

Judge Phillip Wassall told Morris: "It is rare that one sees things in this court that cheer one’s heart but this case brings me joy.

“You clearly had a problem with alcohol which lay behind your offending and which you have dealt with by engaging so well with the Alcohol Specified Activity Programme.

“There is no need for the order to remain. It gives me great pleasure to see you going home to your family.”

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