‘Jail me’ pleads homeless man – for better chance of getting a home after release

> Something we’re going to see more of in the near future if things continue on their present course…

A homeless  man who flouted a court’s order urged magistrates to lock him up – so he has a hope of securing accomodation upon his release.

 Andrew Foster told the probation service he wasn’t willing to comply with a 12-month community order handed out in February for offences of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress to a Police Community Support Officer and resisting a police constable in the execution of his duty.

The 31-year-old admitted breaching his order for the second time at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court by failing to turn up for pre-arranged appointments on April 2 and 9.

The probation service asked for the order to be revoked and for Foster to be resentenced.

The court heard that Foster, of no fixed abode, had shown no motivation to complete the order and told probation staff he didn’t feel able to comply with the requirements placed on him.

Michael Henderson, mitigating, said his client asked to be sent to prison as he ‘couldn’t cope’ with the outside world.

Mr Henderson said:”I’m sure some defendants would come before court and offer every excuse known to man as to why they haven’t complied and ask for a further chance – and essentially waste court time.

“Mr Foster is not doing that. He has drug and mental health problems and a lack of accomodation.

He was made subject to this order and and fair play to him, he has not committed any more offences.

“He has not committed any more offences but he can’t cope on the outside.

“He has got nowhere to live and feels desperate.

“He feels the order he is on is very onerous.

“From his point of view he can’t comply and he knows this is the end of the road.

“He wants to go into prison and come out with a clean slate.

“He thinks if he goes into prison it will increase his chances of finding a place to live.

“He has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. Hopefully he can come out with a clean slate and hopefully get accomodation, sort out his drug issues and get himself working – that’s what he wants.”

Marian Craig, chair of the magistrates, said: “Obviously, from everything we have heard, you have got no intention of sticking to any programme the probation service may give you.

“We have no other option but to give you a custodial sentence.”

Foster was resentenced for his original offences and given six weeks for the charge of using threatening using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour offence and two weeks for the resist a police officer charge, making for a total of eight weeks in custody.

Source – Shields Gazette   06 May 2014

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