A FORMER policeman has conquered the drink problem that led to him being in trouble with the law and getting a criminal record, York Magistrates Court heard.

Alan Glasby has worked with probation officers, specialist substance abuse organisation LifeLine and staff at the Arc Light Centre to turn his life around and reduce his alcohol intake. He has also had support from his family.

“I was a different person back at the end of last year,” he told the court. “Can I say thank you to everyone who has given me support?”

District judge Adrian Lower said: “It is always refreshing to hear that offenders who have been given a chance to work with the probation service have taken that chance and turned their life around.”

Glasby, 64, currently living at the Arc Light homeless centre, was before the court because he was arrested in early January for shoplifting a bottle of vodka and a fruit loaf from Marks & Spencer’s Pavement store on January 6. At the time he was subject to a community order which included 12 months’ supervision by the probation service and unpaid work.

The judge said: “I think it is simply unacceptable it has taken nearly six months to bring you before the court for a matter you admitted as long ago as January.”

However, the delay had given him the chance to reform himself. The judge read an Arc Light report and heard one from a probation officer about his progress he had made on the community order.

He gave Glasby, who admitted theft, a six- month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay a £15 statutory surcharge.

Glasby was given the community order in December for a series of alcohol related offences, some involving his then landlord. He committed further offences in January of sending nuisance text messages and breaching the community order for which he received a conditional discharge and was ordered to do extra probation service activities in April.