Beggar ordered to stop by court

Burnley Magistrates Court

Burnley Magistrates Court

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A “non-aggressive” beggar was doing it to fund his drugs and drink addictions, a court was told.

Simon Paul Fisher (35) was pulled up by the police as he had been warned a day or two before.

Fisher, who struck in beach of three conditional discharges, had had his benefits sanctioned before he put his hat out on St James’s Street, Burnley, the town’s magistrates’ court heard.

Fisher, of Forfar Street, Burnley, admitted begging in a public place, on October 13th. He was given a 12-month community order, with a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement, fined £20 and must pay an £85 victim surcharge.

Deputy District Judge Joanne Hirst told the defendant: “The only way you’re going to stop offending now is to have some proper support.”

Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann told the hearing the police said Fisher had recently been given help to find a house and furniture and employment but still was asking passers-by for money, telling them he was homeless and had no way to get funds.

Mr Mark Williams (defending) said it was passive begging, rather than bothering and pestering people.