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JOBLESS: Nicky Welfare drank 24 cans of Stella Artois and two of Strongbow cider

Wednesday May 6,2009

A HORRIFIED judge yesterday told an unemployed young thug that he was a “walking advertisement†for those who thought alcohol was far too cheap.

The judge hit out after being told that the 21-year-old drank 24 cans of high-strength Stella Artois lager and two cans of Strongbow cider a day.

In astonishment, Judge Philip Statman QC interrupted the defence barrister to ask how anyone who was unemployed could afford such a large amount of drink.

Jobless Nicky Welfare had admitted setting off a fire extinguisher inside a petrol station shop when staff locked the doors to try to stop his friend making off with two crates of Stella.

The Maidstone Crown Court judge interjected when defence barrister Louise Oakley told him of Welfare’s mammoth drink consumption, despite receiving only £60.40 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance.

“Where does he get the money for 24 cans of Stella a day?†he asked.

Miss Oakley explained that Welfare lived with his parents and so the benefit payments amounted to pocket money.

But she added that the price of Stella had plunged in recent years. “He was in a position where he was able to drink very much to excess,†she said.

But the fuming judge told Welfare: “You are destroying your life by drinking and you will end up on a mortuary slab if you carry on in this way.

“You are 21 years of age and I am told you consume 24 cans of Stella Artois lager a day along with two bottles of cider. You are a walking advertisement for those who say that now, in the community, alcohol is far too readily available at far too cheap a price.â€Â

Welfare, who has no qualifications and has rarely worked since leaving school, was said to have turned to drinking vast quantities because he had too much time on his hands.

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