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Gloucestershire Business News

Persistent beggar jailed after repeated ignoring injunction

A Cheltenham man who repeatedly breached his Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction has been sent to prison following a recent court appearance.

Wayne Lamport, aged 55 and of Ennerdale Road, Cheltenham, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after appearing at Gloucester Crown Court for frequent breaches of the order which prevents him from begging on the streets of Cheltenham.

The court heard how Lamport had been begging and causing anti-social behaviour in Cheltenham town centre for more than two years. He was originally issued with an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction by a court in October 2019 after an application was made by Project Solace, a joint team of officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary, Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucester City Council.

When Project Solace first became aware of Lamport's begging in the town, officers made contact with him and made multiple referrals to partner agencies, under the 'Engage, Support, Enforce' process.

These referrals aimed to support him with his accommodation, benefits, and helping him with day to day tasks during the pandemic, as well as finding him help for his alcohol misuse.

A large period of time was given to allow Lamport to take up these offers of support and to meaningfully engage with them. However, despite some engagement, Lamport's anti-social behaviour continued and resulted in Solace applying to court for the injunction. This order came with conditions and an exclusion zone of Cheltenham town centre.

After this order was made, Lamport's anti-social behaviour continued and has since breached the injunction numerous times, resulting in him receiving a suspended sentence and further opportunities to mend his ways.

Solace Officer Lisa Jones said: "Mr Lamport has continually begged for money in Cheltenham town centre on a regular, sometimes daily basis, over the years. This was done by fraudulently holding a sign up in front of him stating he was homeless and needed money, when in fact he was accommodated, was in receipt of benefits and was receiving support by lots of different agencies including volunteers.

"He has been offered countless opportunities to address his complex support needs, but has not engaged to a full extent. Many partner agencies from all angles have offered Mr Lamport every opportunity of support that they have available to them; however, he continues to deceive members of the public out of their money, resulting in him breaching his Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction.

"In Gloucestershire as whole, we are fortunate enough to have multiple supported accommodation projects and these provide a safe environment for people who have more complex needs.

"We would like to thank members of the public for their support of Wayne, but we would ask that, if people have concerns about the welfare of a person who appears to be sleeping rough sleeping, that they the person food or a drink or make a donation to a homeless charity.

"We would always ask that they complete a Streetlink referral. This goes directly to an outreach team who will then come out to see that person and make an assessment of their needs."

Councillor Flo Clucas, cabinet member for safety and communities, said: "We understand people can have problems and we are here to help where we can. But continued substance and alcohol misuse, where public sympathy is abused, cannot be allowed to continue."

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