Chelmsford City Council

Man with home address prosecuted for begging

A man with an address who was begging in Chelmsford City Centre has been given a Criminal Behaviour Order and fined £180 by Chelmsford Magistrates Court, following successful prosecution by Chelmsford City Council.

In September 2017, Chelmsford City Council and Essex Police put a process in place to tackle anti-social behaviour surrounding begging within the city centre. This was in relation to a high number of complaints being received from members of the public who said that they felt intimidated by people who were asking for money.

On 5 December 2017, a Community Protection Warning was issued to Mr Ryan Hammond. The Warning was breached and a Community Protection Notice was issued on 26 January 2018, requiring him to cease begging in a public place; not to remain within 10 metres of any cash machine unless withdrawing money; and not to place a container or vessel in front of or near himself in such a manner as to attract passers-by to place money in it.

The CPN was breached for the first time on 16 July 2018 and Mr Hammond was taken to court. He did not attend and the matter was proved in his absence, resulting in a £220 fine.

During the early months of 2019, the defendant continued to beg in the city centre and the matter returned to court. On 18 January, a report was received of needles being left in a bag in Melbourne Park. Council officers investigating the hazard found ten hypodermic needles with waste and letters addressed to Mr Hammond at his home address.

On 4 April, the case was heard at Chelmsford Magistrates Court and the matter was again proved in Mr Hammond's absence. He was fined £180, plus £90 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

The Council also successfully obtained a Criminal Behaviour Order with the same conditions as the previous CPN, with an additional prohibition against depositing needles in a public place. In reaching the decision to grant this, the court must be "satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the offender has engaged in behaviour that has caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person and; the court considers that making the order will help prevent the offender from engaging in such behaviour."

Wednesday 17 April 2019

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