Man bought alcohol for 14-year-old boy who drank so much he could have died

Reuben Henry, described as a vulnerable adult, bought the boy a bottle of Jack Daniels from an Asda store.

Courts: Henry was sentenced at Selkirk Sheriff Court on Monday.
© STV

A man who bought a 14-year-old boy alcohol that almost resulted in his death has been given community service.

Doctors at Borders General Hospital said it was one of the most serious cases of child intoxication they had come across when they treated the teenager.

He had been found lying unconscious in a park in Galashiels in the Borders and unable to clear vomit from his mouth. The intensive care unit was put on stand-by when the boy had to be kept in overnight.

Reuben Henry previously pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly supplying the teenager with a bottle of Jack Daniels from a local superstore to the danger of his life.

But Selkirk Sheriff Court was told he was "sinned against more than sinning".

Henry, a vulnerable adult with psychological issues, was preyed on by local youths who used his home in Galashiels as a drinking den.

Asda

Henry, now living in homeless accommodation in East Lothian, also admitted buying alcohol on behalf of another youngster at Asda in Galashiels on July 3. He also breached his bail not to enter an off-licence to purchase alcohol for under age persons on August 4 at Tesco in Galashiels.

The court had been told how the first offender had become an easy target for local youths who used to gather at his home and drink.

On August 3, three teenagers gave him money to buy beer and Henry purchased 12 bottles for them, which one of the children put in a rucksack. Later they went to his home and gave him £25 and asked him to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Henry made the purchase and handed over the whisky.

One of the teenagers was celebrating his birthday and they went to woods nearby to camp. They began drinking the alcohol and the 14-year-old collapsed.

On Monday, Henry’s defence lawyer Matt Patrick told the court he had been preyed on by the teenagers.

He said: "A panic alarm had to be installed in his property in case anyone attends. He does to some extent appear to be a victim of bullying and intimidation."

Sheriff Drummond said the case was an "extreme version" of what is often seen in the community with under age drinking.

He said: "People who plead guilty or are convicted of this kind of behaviour commonly find themselves going to prison for a long time.

"Providing alcohol to young people, one of whom whose life was in danger, is a serious offence. But it is clear that it appears you were more sinned against than sinning. You have been taken advantage of by a group of people."

Henry was sentenced to 18 months community service.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.