Jail for beggar who soiled church floor and has over 100 convictions

Carl Horth, of no fixed address, was jailed for 15 weeks and banned from Ipswich town centre for thr

Carl Horth, of no fixed address, was jailed for 15 weeks and banned from Ipswich town centre for three years Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

A beggar who defecated in an Ipswich church is starting a 15-week prison sentence after his latest appearance at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Carl Horth, 31, of no fixed address, was jailed on Saturday after admitting a string of offences including abusive and threatening behaviour.

This charge related to an incident where he threatened to stab a woman with a needle used to inject drugs after she found him in a block of flats in Grimwade Street back in October.

Horth was also given a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) banning him from entering Ipswich town centre for three years.

It follows a nationwide begging ban imposed on the 31-year-old in 2014.

He now has more than 100 convictions for over 200 offences – including the theft of an altar cloth and defecating in a church last year.

Offences he admitted to on Saturday, February 16, happened between October last year and February this year.

They included threatening someone after being caught smoking cannabis in their doorway in Grimwade Street, aggressively begging for money in Fore Street, stealing the altar cloth from St Mary at the Elms church and four breaches of his community protection notice (CPN).

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His CBO also stops him begging for money or any other item within the borough of Ipswich, remaining on any premises (public or private) within the borough if asked to leave by a person responsible for it, entering any premises in the borough from which he has already been banned, and sleeping in any communal area of any housing block within the borough.

Breaching a CBO is another criminal offence and can result in an immediate prison sentence.

Sgt Vicky McParland, of the Ipswich Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Carl Horth is a persistent beggar and has been a menace to those who live and work in Ipswich, along with visitors to the town.

“In addition to pestering people for money, he often forces his way into communal areas of buildings, leaving behind rubbish and is also known to both urinate and defecate in them.

“His aggressive and threatening behaviour has upset many people and he has refused to comply with a CPN issued to him in October last year.

“This notice was an opportunity for him to correct his behaviour without being prosecuted.

She added: “He was offered support and assistance from the many services available to him in Ipswich, but he refuses to engage with them.

“In light of his continued offending, we were left with no option but to apply for magistrates to impose the CBO banning him from the town centre.

“This will enable us to deal with him swiftly should he breach the order after he is released from prison.”