Street drinker who stole mask from shop dummy jailed for eight weeks
A street drinker who stole a £2 face mask from a shop dummy has been jailed for eight weeks after breaching a court order for the second time in a week.
Ty Edwards was handed a criminal behaviour order (CBO) on July 27 – banning him from carrying an open container of alcohol in Bury St Edmunds.
Magistrates imposed the CBO after Edwards failed to comply with a two-week-old community protection notice by gathering in a group within the town centre.
Four days later, the 39-year-old was back at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court for breaching the CBO – and then returned on Thursday for being caught with an open bottle of wine after being stopped by police for stealing a £2 face mask.
Prosecutor Lesla Small said Edwards had been warned by police about his language and gathering in a group at about 10.30am the previous morning.
Shortly afterwards, he was told to move on after being found stretched out across the entrance to a shop, before being seen taking a mask from a mannequin outside Kitchen Kave.
When searched by police, Edwards was found in possession of the stolen face mask and an open bottle of rosé wine.
Calvin Saker, mitigating, said the CBO had been imposed – with the best intentions – to stop Edwards from aggressive begging.
He pointed out that the two breaches had been brought because Edwards had simply been in possession of alcohol.
Mr Saker asked: “Is that necessarily surprising when he’s an alcoholic? It’s not supposed to be a punishment for being an alcoholic.
“He had a friend among the group he was seen gathered with – some of whom should probably have their own CBOs – yet he’s the one getting his pockets felt.”
Mr Saker said Edwards had ended up back on the streets following a fruitless trip to find homeless shelter space in Cambridge.
He said Edwards had exhausted his benefit payments on alcohol and stole the face mask because he was “getting grief” for not wearing one on public transport.
Mr Saker asked magistrates to consider keeping Edwards in custody for the day – in lieu of a fine he could not afford to pay.
But the bench said Edwards had shown a persistent disregard for the CBO and jailed him for eight weeks – ordering him to also pay £2 in compensation for the stolen mask.
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