July 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 3, 2014
A beggar with mental health issues and more than 220 convictions has been spared jail after breaching his Asbo for at least the fifth time in three months.
Bevan Ash, of St Helen’s Street, Ipswich, was caught begging near The Walk in Ipswich only a month after he was jailed for 40 days.
Police officers heard the 44-year-old asking passers-by for money last Friday morning in contravention of his Asbo.
After he was arrested he began shouting and swearing.
Ash admitted breaching his Asbo and threatening behaviour when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.
He was given an eight-week jail term, suspended for six months.
Ash now has a total of 14 previous breaches of an Asbo since 2010.
Magistrates also fined him £50 for the threatening behaviour offence, but waived it in view of time served in custody while awaiting his court appearance.
Last month he was imprisoned for asking an off-duty police officer for money in Westgate Street the day after being released from prison following a previous Asbo breach.
At the time his solicitor Lucy Osborn said each time Ash is imprisoned his benefit payments cease. It then takes a week for them to begin again once he comes out of jail.
She said: “Since the order was imposed he has been locked into a cycle of petty offending and short custodial sentences.
“Each time he is released his benefits have been stopped and he must re-apply. Therefore he has no money because he has got to re-apply. He’s got accommodation, but has no lighting or heating because he’s got no money.”
On that occasion magistrates warned Ash that he could be sent to crown court for sentencing if he breaches his Asbo again.
Ash has a long-history of mental health problems, and alcohol and drug issues.