A Witney man left rehab early so he could see his partner and his dog, a court heard.

Marc Lawrence, 45, was given a 12 month community order last year for possession of an offensive weapon and a class B drug.

But he was back in the dock at Oxford Crown Court this week for failing to turn up to probation appointments in December and May.

The court heard Lawrence came out of drug rehab in January having completed the first detox phase of the programme.

His advocate, Lucy Ffrench said: “He accepts he left a week early because he wanted to see his partner and his dog before the next element [of the residential rehabilitation programme].”

She said Lawrence was due to return to the rehab centre to start the therapeutic part of the programme, but it was delayed after a covid outbreak at the site.

He had since fallen back in to using illegal drugs, she said. He still had funding for a place at the drug rehabilitation facility.

Lawrence failed to attend probation appointments on December 3 and May 5. He was sent a travel warrant to help him to get from his home in Witney to the appointment with his probation officer in Bicester in May, but failed to turn up.

Ms Ffrench said the journey required him to take a bus from Witney to Oxford then a train to Bicester. Mental health issues, including anxiety, made that a difficult journey.

Marc Lawrence outside Oxford Crown Court

Judge Nigel Daly revoked the previous community order and imposed a new year-long order with a 12 month drug rehabilitation requirement and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He asked the probation officer to look into whether Lawrence could meet his offender manager in Oxford. Judge Daly told the defendant he knew it was difficult, but added: “Keep attending because otherwise you will get breached again and if you get breached again, on a second breach it’s not looking good.”

Lawrence, of Lowell Place, Witney, admitted breaching his community order.

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