A 21-year-old man has been told by a judge that he’s on his very last chance after he breached a community order imposed following his conviction for assault by beating and criminal damage.
Denton Dixon, of Moat Gardens in Wythenshawe, appeared at Manchester Crown Court today (Monday 2nd October) following “unacceptable failure” to comply with measures put in place by the probation service in June this year, according to Ian Metcalfe prosecuting on behalf of The National Probation Service.
Dixon has been waiting for 18 months to join the Thinking Skills Programme, which is run by the probation service to try to keep custody as a final option. He pleaded guilty to the breach.
The offences were committed in 2021 and he was sentenced in June this year.
Part of the community order was to attend probation meetings but Mr Metcalfe detailed that the former landscaper has three absences that have been deemed acceptable, with a further three absences deemed to be unacceptable.
Dixon missed a phone call from probation on September 4 which they claim was to offer him an induction session onto the Thinking Skills Programme, but he claims he no longer has a phone with an active sim card.
A representative for the probation service told the court: “A probation officer called Mr Dixon twice, both times it went to voicemail and the officer left a voice message. They tried again later that evening and left a second message and still didn’t hear back.”
Laura Broome was defending Denton Dixon and told the court that he lives a very chaotic life suffering from ADHD, anxiety and a number of other conditions.
She said: “My client has been waiting for a review of medication, which has since happened and now his dosage has been increased.”
Ms Broome emphasised that Dixon had been trying to balance his commitments working as a landscaper and also his commitments with the probation service.
Her Honour Judge Hilary Manley labelled the probation service’s 18-month waiting list as unacceptable and meaningless.
As she concluded the hearing Judge Manley said: “I’m prepared to give him one more chance, the alternative really is custody. One of the reasons I’m prepared to give him a second chance is the failure of the probation service.”
She was clear though telling Dixon that the “chances are you’re going down the steps next time you’re back in this courtroom.”