Man given conditional discharge for ‘persistent street drinking’ in legal first

Court
Court

A man seen persistently consuming alcohol in Boston’s drink-control zone appeared in court today (Monday) in a case which is a first in the country.

Paul Homewood, 66, of St Leonard’s Close, Boston, admitted breaching a community protection notice (CPN) issued after he continuously ignored warnings after drinking alcohol in the town’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) area.

Boston magistrates heard he was seen drinking in and around the town centre on no less than 13 occasions between January 13, 2015 – the day after the PSPO came into effect – and March 30, 2016.

On the first occasion he was sent a letter outlining what he had done wrong and giving notice of the action Boston Borough Council could take.

Further incidents followed when Mr Homewood was seen drinking alcohol at the bus station, near PC World, outside the Len Medlock Centre, near the railway station and in and around the town centre and a letter sent after he was seen drinking in a public area on June 22 advising that anti-social behaviour legislation could be applied.

He was again seen drinking in the open on July 15 and was given a letter warning that if he carried on he would receive a CPN.

He was again seen drinking within the PSPO area on August 9 and August 23 and the CPN was served on him.

He was sthen een drinking in the PSPO area on October 19 and October 22 when he was told a community protection notice would be in force from November 12.

Mr Andrew Goldsborough, prosecuting, said Homewood was then seen on Christmas Eve drinking near Boston Stump and new information had been received that he was seen drinking in the PSPO area again as recently as March 30.

Homewood’s two daughters were in court to support him and handed a written statement to the magistrates which included a doctor’s letter.

Homewood was given a 12-month conditional discharge. There was an application for legal costs of £300 and investigation costs of £1,096.

Homewood, who is on benefits, was ordered to pay £100 costs and a £15 victim surcharge within 14 days and told to undergo an assessment and any other intervention necessary from Addaction for six months. His daughters said he was also seeing DART in Boston – Drugs and Alcohol Recovery Team.

Following the result, Coun Stephen Woodliffe, Boston Borough Council’s portfolio holder for community safety, said: “It is sad to see a man in court because of alcohol, but in this instance numerous warnings have failed to have any effect on this person’s behaviour.

“The council has a duty to use whatever powers it has available to remove this nuisance from the streets in Boston. The borough council was the first in the country to use the PSPO legislation, following complaints from the public about street drinking.

“And by now being the first to take legal action against a street drinker we demonstrate that we will use the powers at our disposal.”