Beggar jailed for breaching town centre banning order
PUBLISHED: 20:21 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 20:21 08 February 2019
A persistent beggar banned from Colchester town centre has been jailed for eight weeks after breaching a behaviour order.
Thomas Roy, who is not homeless, was banned from entering the town centre except to attend pre-arranged medical, legal or other professional appointments on January 30.
He was made subject of a two-year criminal behaviour order due to his persistent anti-social behaviour, but breached that order on February 1 after he was caught begging in the town centre.
He was arrested and appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court the next day – where he was fined £80 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.
He breached the order another four times between February 4-7, and on three of those occasions he was seen begging for money.
On the fourth occasion he had entered the town centre with no pre-arranged appointment as laid out in the order.
He admitted four counts of breaching a community behaviour order at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today and was jailed for eight weeks. He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.
Sergeant Martin Willsher said: “Thomas Roy has shown a complete disregard for the criminal behaviour order that was imposed on him by magistrates.
“Just two days after it was issued, he was arrested and charged with breaching it, but then continued to breach it.
“A huge amount of work has been undertaken by my team and our partners to try and prevent him from committing further offences.
“The custodial sentence imposed today is a reminder to not only Roy but anyone else who is intent on committing crime in Colchester that we and our partners involved in the Colchester town centre action plan will use the full range of powers at our disposal to take robust action to safeguard the community.”
Mike Lilley, Colchester Borough Council’s portfolio holder for planning, public safety and licensing, said: “This case should serve as a lesson to anyone thinking of repeatedly flouting the law, that we are serious about curbing anti-social behaviour that can have a tremendously detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents and visitors to the town.
“Together with the police and other partners, we want to create a better Colchester that promises a safer and crime-free town centre that people can enjoy.
“Results like this play a big part in helping us to achieve that ambition.”