A man who breached his suspended sentence order through bad behaviour and failing to turn up was told the keys to the cell doors were in his hands.

Samuel Cooper, 30, was given a six month suspended sentence last summer for common assault. Together with friend Leigh Clarke, he shoved a man into a shop window in Corn Street, Witney, in August 2019.

The pair had been charged with robbery, as the victim’s phone was said to have been taken during the incident – which followed a booze binge.

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However, the men admitted alternative charges of common assault. Both were given suspended sentences.

Appearing before Oxford Crown Court on Monday morning, Cooper, of Valence Crescent, Witney, admitted breaching the six month suspended sentence order by having to be sent home from probation appointments in November and February for bad behaviour and failing to attend two appointments in March.

Dana Bilan, mitigating, said her client welcomed a recommendation from the probation service that he was given a drug rehabilitation requirement. He had been addicted to cocaine for 15 years.

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Judge Michael Gledhill QC imposed the 12 month drug rehabilitation order. Warning him about the dangers of not complying, Cooper was told: “The keys to the door that lead to the cells are in effect in your hands. If you want to go through it it’s up to you.”

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