Daniel was arrested after shouting racial abuse at his neighbour following an on-going row which was fueled by booze – but he has now quit the bottle thanks to help from probation.
The 46-year-old has struggled with alcoholism since he was in his teens and drank upwards of 16 cans of strong lager every day. Drink was causing him serious health issues, including diabetes.
Daniel successfully completed a one-year Community Order for aggravated racial abuse that was supervised by senior probation case manager Robert Donald at the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company’s Trafford office.
Daniel has been in trouble before and readily accepts he had a serious problem with authority. But this time he accepted the help on offer.
He said: “I deeply regret what I did, but I was drunk and not behaving correctly. It’s no excuse, but I come from an alcoholic family and at the time was drinking far too much.
“I never accepted help. I’d hit rock bottom, I’d lost my family, and my children had been taken into foster care. I’d also ruined my pancreas and my health was really poor.
“I tried to kill myself. It was a terrible, terrible thing to go through.”
He added: “It was always ‘me, me, me’ and I was always extremely angry. Some of the agencies that tried to work with me would only see me if I was behind a reinforced glass window.”
Daniel didn’t hit it off straight away with his probation officer but did manage to attend every appointment.
He said: “Rob has been fantastic with me. He stuck with me even when I was a bit iffy at first. But the more I listened to him, the more I asked for help, then I began to see that I had someone to talk to who genuinely cared about me.
“I don’t know why I found Rob easy to talk to. For the first time I really reached out, and I’ve found that when you do that, the help is there.”
Rob contacted a range of services to support Daniel, including accommodation, health and detox agencies. Daniel agreed to do a detox course and has been free from alcohol since December 11th.
Daniel said: “It was tough. I still think about alcohol, it’s a daily struggle. But I’ve found by keeping active and building new patterns that don’t involve drink – and by mixing with different people – that it has been okay.”
Daniel is an AA member and embraces all the alcohol aftercare services on offer. He recently completed his probation order. As a result of the progress he has made, he is having increased time with his children.
He said: “My kids have seen a big improvement in me and that means the world to me because previously I was unpredictable.”
Rob said that when he first met Daniel early engagement was “challenging”.
He added: “To Daniel’s credit, he stuck with every appointment and talked openly about himself. This eventually led to us forming a strong professional relationship based on trust.
“One of the really positive things I have found about Daniel is his passion and his determination to achieve his goals which gives him the ability to endure, even when things don’t go to plan.
“Daniel’s attitude has improved considerably. He actively looks for ways to better himself. He should be exceptionally proud of who he is as a person and what he has achieved, and I am proud to have played a small part in his success.”
Daniel added: “Rob has really, really helped me. I don’t think I could’ve done it without him. He’s told me that I can still call him if I need help even though I’ve finished my order. He treats me as an individual and that means a lot to me.
“I want to stay sober and enjoy the rest of my life.”