Blackpool beggar jailed

Blackpool's bid to clean up its image saw a persistent beggar jailed for 42 days.

Blackpoool Magistrates were told that a warrant for the arrest of 42 year old Michael Mullen had been in force for over thirty weeks before he was finally arrested and brought to court.

Mullen of Brock Avenue,Fleetwood had previously been found guilty of five counts of begging in the Blackpool town centre both at day and night.

He has now admitted being in breach of a suspended jail term.

Lynda Bennett,prosecuting for Blackpool Council said the authority was determined to improve its image as a family resort.

She said that Mullen was often seen by police and council officers sitting in on the footpath covered by a blanket with an upturned cap in front of him into which the public would drop change.

The prosecutor said that far from being homeless Mullen received Housing Benefit for a flat on Palatine Road and his new home in Fleetwood.

The defence lawyer told the court:"This man has been bedridden for a long time because of his illness and his muscles have wasted away."

"These offences took place before this and whe he was short of money to pay for a drug habit."

Jailing Mullen and ordering him to pay £80 costs magistrates told he shown a blatant disregard for his suspended jail sentence.

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