Average Saturday Night Out

My friends and I were bored so we decided to go to the shop to buy some alcohol. Between 4 of us we bought just under 50 cans of lager. We then went to a mate’s garage to start drinking, several hours later we got bored again so we went for a stroll to pass some time.

The group had doubled with mixed genders by this time and after spending most of the time walking we decided to walk into town to meet a friend and on the way back we walked past the local supermarket where we seen three boys who had given us trouble before. In a drunk and disorderly manner, two of us approached the boys in a hostile way and ask them questions and one thing led to another and the five of us were fighting.

This felt invigorating at first, but now I’m full of remorse and regret after a year and a half of hell.

This being because after this attack I felt paranoid of the police because I knew they would find me at some point, and after the longest two days ever...they did. They came round my house when I wasn’t there which led to the worry of my family because they were unaware of my actions, and I wasn’t there to explain.

Rightfully, the police then phoned me up to warrant my arrest outside my friend’s house late at night, which again just caused more hate and distress. Leading on from this, the police arrested me and put me in a cell for two hours. Finally, when my solicitor arrived, we started the interview which lasted approximately 40 minutes. These 40 minutes felt like 40 hours because of the intense interrogation.

At this point, I was already thinking that the fight wasn’t worth this, let alone after a year and a half.

I was then put on bail for a month and a half to find out what was going to happen to me, which put me and my close family and friends under much stress. This then happened to me my court date and my charges which was another month and I was bailed until then, so the waiting game continued.

The amount of waiting from being arrested to being charged put everyone under so much stress, so much so that I lost my girlfriend and my close friends felt friction because we were all unsure of the results. Let alone the stress and isappointment which filled the household.

I then went to court for a hearing which was just by myself which I felt happier about because all I’ve done is let people down so far. The hearing was just to be told I had to come back a month later for my sentencing which meant more waiting.

I later then had to go to court for my sentencing after a long and excruciating wait. My dad came along this time who also had to stand up in court which made me feel inadequate to deal with my own problems and suffer the consequences from my actions and put my dad under that misery of standing up for his criminal son. I felt equally as guilty that he had to be dragged in this mess amongst the whole of my family, including my little brother who used to look up to me awful lot.

To conclude, I was left with a 12 month referral order, hours of community service, £760 fine and
loss of respect of my family and friends ... all because of one drunken night.

In Herefordshire in 2009, more than 300 young people below the age of 25 were arrested for offences where alcohol was considered to be a factor. Many received criminal records as a result, and this could prove to be a real problem for them in their later lives.

Herefordshire Youth Offending Team works with young offenders in Herefordshire to give them the opportunity, under their court order, both to reflect upon their behaviour and, through Bottletop, to share with others the impact on their lives of their losing control whist being under the influence of alcohol.

Here, a young people from Herefordshire who has offended explain what happened to themselves and their regret for what they did. They also wanted to help inform others of how drinking can increase the risk of offending and the possible consequences.

Karen Byrne of Herefordshire's Youth Offending Team.