Vulnerable homeless man banned from Mansfield centre for begging

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A vulnerable homeless man who was banned from Mansfield town centre for begging missed meetings with his probation officer, a court heard.

Peter Welch was issued with a notice to leave the area for 48 hours, after he was spotted asking for change on Queen Street, at 3.30pm, on December 10.

But the next morning he was seen in the marketplace by the same officer and arrested, said prosecutor Robert Carr.

The court heard he received a community order the week before, for possession of a blade and drugs, and was arrested on Thursday, January 1, for breaching his bail conditions.

Ian Pridham, mitigating, said Welch has a very low IQ and is unable to read or write.

“He was with another person in the same situation,” he said. “The officer only had one map to show where he could and couldn’t go.

“He wouldn’t have been able to follow the map anyway. He was told not to enter the town centre. He took that literally and hasn’t been keeping probation appointments.

“He is quite vulnerable to being exploited by other people on the street.”

Welch, 43, admitted breaching bail conditions, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

He was given a day’s detention, which he had already served after being arrested the day before, and was told to comply with the probation service.