Ex-con beggar convicted after Wilkinson's loitering

Mark Anthony Hollins (39) was found to be flouting a Public Spaces Protection Order.
Mark Anthony Hollins (39) was found to be flouting a Public Spaces Protection Order.

An ex-con beggar has been convicted of two offences after flouting a Public Spaces Protection Order by being sat outside Wilkinson's on Curzon Street.

Mark Anthony Hollins (39) was found to be in breach of new legislation, with the Public Spaces Protection Order banning him and others from sitting on the ground at five separate locations prior to him being sighted at one of them.

Hollins, who had had problems with his benefits, knew the order was in force when he sat with his hat out five days before last Christmas, with the defendant, of Ribblesdale Street in Burnley, admitting to begging in a public place on a second or subsequent occasion and failing to comply with the order last December 20th.

Mr Mark Williams, defending, said Hollins - who was fined £50 and told to pay a £30 victim surcharge - had been having difficulty with his accommodation, but that was now resolved and it had assisted him in sorting his benefits out.

The solicitor told the court: "For the first time probably since he was released from a 56-month sentence in 2013, he has his own address. That's a recent positive in his life."

"I don't think there is anything aggressive about his begging," Mr Williams added. "He is just sitting there with his hat out."

District Judge Alexandra Simmonds told the defendant: "You were begging again in Burnley town centre and you knew you shouldn't do it because you appeared recently in court for that sort of behaviour. You knew there was an order in force. It is designed to stop people like you begging in that place."