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Ipswich: Beggar Bevan Ash - who has 220 convictions - is jailed again for begging the day after being released from prison

14:00 28 May 2014

Bevan Ash

Bevan Ash

Archant

A beggar with mental health issues and no benefits has been jailed again after asking an off-duty police officer for money the day after being released from prison.

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Bevan Ash, who has 220 convictions to his name, was caught begging in Westgate Street, Ipswich, in breach of an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) he was given on March 7. Ash admitted the charge when he appeared before the town’s magistrates.

He has now breached his current Asbo on at least four occasions.

Ash, of St Helen’s Street, Ipswich, was released from jail on Wednesday last week after a previous breach, only to be caught begging again the following day.

The 44-year-old’s solicitor Lucy Osborn said each time Ash is imprisoned his benefit payments cease. It then takes a week for them to begin again once he comes out of jail.

She said: “Since the order was imposed he has been locked into a cycle of petty offending and short custodial sentences.

“Each time he is released his benefits have been stopped and he must re-apply. Therefore he has no money because he has got to re-apply. He’s got accommodation, but has no lighting or heating because he’s got no money.

“He’s literally without any money at all.

“It is without doubt that Mr Ash is a nuisance, but I would suggest it is no more than that.”

The court was told Ash is not rude, threatening or coercive when he begs for money.

Miss Osborn added: “He apologises for his behaviour and knows he shouldn’t do it, but feels until he has income of his own he simply has no option.”

Magistrates were told Ash has a long-history of mental health problems and is schizophrenic. He also has a background of alcohol and drug misuse.

Ash had lived a majority of his life in Colchester with his mother, until he was banned from the estate where they lived.

He then moved to Ipswich and can not return to see his mother who is in ill-health due to an injunction barring him from the estate.

Previously Colette Harper had told the court Ash was seen begging outside Clark’s shoe shop in Westgate Street between 1.30pm and 1.50pm last Wednesday.

He asked a police officer in plain clothes if he could spare some change and also tried to scrounge money from nine members of the public.

Ash already has eight convictions this year.

His Asbo bars him from begging or having an unsealed container of alcohol in the town centre.

The court was also told he has a total of 13 previous breaches of an Asbo since 2010.

Magistrates jailed Ash for 40 days along with a day detention in lieu of a previous fine of £125.

He was also warned he could be sent to crown court for sentencing if he breaches his Asbo again.

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6 comments

  • While I don't know all the details of the background of this man,it is obvious that keep giving him asbos and sending him to jail again and again and fining him, is not helping him get out of this vicious cycle of having no money. Can they not see that by now?

    Report this comment

    Mary Mary

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • 220 convictions, mental health problems, schizophrenic, druggie & drunkard and a nuisance? A VERY expensive one if you are a taxpayer by the sound of it.

    Report this comment

    Supernova6

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • According to Michael Howard, "prison works". Really??? This seems like a prime case of a man who's got a lot of problems; it would be cheaper in the long run to actually help him DEAL with his problem, rather than just chucking him in the slammer.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • Has the guy not found any shops yet in the town centre to steal from to make money? The guy seems to be poor and find it hard to make money... must be a nightmare to be stuck into that loop... but you don't see him robbing a jewellery store or stealing from boots... so perhaps he isn't the scum this paper tries to make out he is?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • a big joke

    Report this comment

    Chris Wheeler

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • I feel for him. If he has no access to benefits then how is he able to get money without begging? And what is the good in fining a man with no money or means of getting any?

    Report this comment

    Pop-pop

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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