Town centre ban for repeat offender

Mansfield Magistrates' Court
Mansfield Magistrates' Court

A Mansfield man has been fined and banned from parts of the town centre for antisocial behaviour which was affecting residents, businesses and visitors.

Peter Welch, 43, of Hickling Court, Mansfield, did not attend Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 27 November and was convicted in his absence of eight offences of failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice (CPN). 

The case was brought by Mansfield District Council after its Community Safety team had received numerous complaints about Welch’s anti-social behaviour since April 2018. He was often seen under the influence of drugs, begging, swearing and shouting at officers. 

The court heard that he was served with a CPN under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which required him not to approach people to beg in Mansfield district. But he was seen begging in busy areas of the town centre and retail parks between May and July 2019, and when approached by officers, he became aggressive and abusive.

Welch was ordered to pay a fine of £50 for each offence, a surcharge of £30 and a contribution to costs of £500 – total of £930 to be paid in full within 14 days. 

The court also agreed to the council’s request to grant a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for three years.

The CBO bans Welch from being in the town centre, Portland Retail Park, St Peter’s Retail Park and Mansfield Leisure Park; prohibits him from behaving in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person within the district of Mansfield, and prohibits him from begging.

Evidence in support of the CBO was presented in court, which showed a continuing pattern of anti-social behaviour. This includes smoking the drug mamba, begging, being issued with a Direction to Leave Notice for anti-social behaviour, littering, being aggressive and abusive towards officers in and around Mansfield town centre and retail/leisure parks, as well as previous public order and begging convictions. 

The court was made aware of the detrimental effect his behaviour was having on residents and visitors to the town, as well as local businesses.

David Evans, Head of Health and Communities at Mansfield District Council, said: "We are delighted with the result of this successful prosecution.

"Applying for CBOs for repeat offenders is one example of how we are using all our available powers and working closely with the police to reduce the amount of antisocial behaviour in the town centre for the benefit of our residents, businesses and visitors.”

On conviction, breach of a CBO could result in up to six months in prison, a fine or both in the Magistrates’ Court; and up to five years in prison, a fine or both, in a Crown Court.

Published: December 4th 2019