Homeless man with mental health problems brought to court for begging

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A homeless man with mental health problems who has been left without money for seven months has appeared in court charged with begging in Mansfield.

Anthony Ellis, 28, admitted asking people for spare change on March 23 and 28, after he was arrested on a warrant, on Wednesday, May 15.

Michael Little, mitigating, said Ellis received a caution for begging, on November 2018, but had never been prosecuted before.

He said the police had compiled information to make a criminal behaviour order, banning Ellis from the town centre, which he said was "wholly disproportionate", and which he would contest when it comes before a judge on May 29.

"He has been without any accommodation for about seven months," said Mr Little. "His benefits were cut off because of a medical issue.

"He has only just been able to sort out identification to sort out a claim for Universal Credit."

Mansfield magistrates decided that since he had been under arrest, that would count as one day's detention.