A MAN with a home who was begging in Chelmsford City Centre has been prosecuted and fined.

Ryan Hammond, received 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 December 5 2017, a community protection warning was issued to Hammond.

The warning was breached and a community protection notice was issued on January 26, 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 notice was breached for the first time on July 16 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 January 18, 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 April 4, 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 notice with an additional prohibition against depositing needles in a public place.