A RHYDLEWIS man has been warned by a judge that “only cats have nine lives” as he narrowly avoided prison for again breaching a suspended sentence.

Jay Cockburn, 32, had been handed a seven-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, on January 5 for racially aggravated harassment of a court security officer and for failing to surrender to police bail.

As part of this, Cockburn was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

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He appeared back at Swansea Crown Court on October 26 charged with breaching that suspended sentence order.

Prosecutor Harry Dickens said Cockburn had breached that suspended sentence order by failing to attend appointments with the probation service on August 25 and September 18.

He admitted the first missed appointment, but denied the second.

Judge Paul Thomas KC proceeded to sentence Cockburn for the admitted breach, and said the probation service would have to consider whether it wanted to proceed with the September breach.

The court heard the defendant had already breached the order before, after not turning up to an appointment on February 12, and having “exhibited unacceptable behaviour” on his unpaid work placement on May 4.

“If there’s any further breach, you will be going to prison,” Judge Thomas told Cockburn.

“You have had now three chances, you will not have a fourth. You are pushing your luck, Mr Cockburn.”

The court heard that the defendant is now working as a chef. Judge Thomas spared him jail to allow him to continue working, as he said this was the best way to keep Cockburn out of prison in the long term.

Instead, he fined the defendant £150.

“Don’t come before me again,” Judge Thomas warned Cockburn. “If you do, you will be going to prison.

“You are on very thin ice.”

Turning to defence barrister Freddie Lewendon, the judge said: “I would be grateful if you can reiterate to your client that it is only cats that have nine lives.”