A COURT order means that a woman addicted to drink can’t stop herself breaking the law, York magistrates heard.

Karen Bulmer is starting her fifth jail term in less than six weeks. Every time she opens a can, bottle or anything else containing alcohol in public, she breaks an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO). Her solicitor, Andrew Craven, said: “She is a chronic alcoholic. Once she is released from prison, within hours she will have a can in her hand. It is the way of things.”

Bulmer, who gave her age as 40, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to breaching the order, at least the 20th time she has done so. She has 250 previous convictions, all for drink-related offences.

Steven Ovenden, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the magistrates: “There is an established pattern here. She is released, drinks and is taken back before the court.”

He said that Bulmer was jailed on May 28 for six weeks for breaking the order Released partway through the sentence on June 9, she was again jailed on June 10 – for eight weeks – for breaking the order. The sentence was reduced on appeal on June 19. She was released within hours but arrested on Saturday, June 20, for breaking the order.

She was jailed for four days on Monday, June 22, but released immediately because she had spent the weekend in police custody. She was rearrested and the next day jailed for 21 days. Her most recent release was on July 2. On July 3, staff at The Lowther pub, in Cumberland Street, on Kings Staith, York, called the police, saying that she was annoying customers.

Police found her drinking from an open can of lager and arrested her for breaching the ASBO. She was not charged with annoying customers.

Asked by magistrates if the probation service could help her, probation officer Andrew Moss said she had been subject to probation supervision in the past, but had never managed to get to appointments with her supervising officer because her drinking meant she never remembered her appointments.

Mr Craven said the current ASBO covered York and Leeds, and because it was made at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, in January 2008, York magistrates could not delete the condition about having an open can in public.