Beggar was trying to get himself a home

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A beggar sat on St James Street, Burnley, had nowhere to live and was trying to get himself a home, a court heard.

The town's magistrates were told ex-convict Wayne Nix had a board in front of him, hoping it might catch the eye of a landlord who could help him out. He had not asked for money, but had been given some.

Nix (44), who had a long record and was in breach of a conditional discharge for begging, has now been to see a new home and was confident it would be made available to him.

Prosecutor Miss Parveen Akhtar told the hearing the defendant was seen near McDonalds with a hat out in front of him and a woman was handing him some money.

Mr Gareth Price, defending, said Nix, who is on employment and support allowance, was not an aggressive beggar and didn't pursue people.

He had been homeless for around two weeks and went to the council offices each morning, to try and see if there was any accommodation for him. The solicitor told the court :" He owes rent arrears of about £2,000 to the local council from when he was in prison."

Mr Price said: "He has seen a new house yesterday. He is confident that will be available to him. He is hoping there is some stability, going forward."

The defendant, care of Edleston Street, Accrington, admitted begging in a public place on October 27. He was fined £40, with a £30 victim surcharge. The Bench chairman told Nix: "I am sure you realise this can't continue," and asked him if he had understood the sentence. The defendant replied: "Yeah, nice one."