Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Serial Pest Is Told to Beggar Off

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Serial Pest Is Told to Beggar Off

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brenda Hickman

Asbo is slapped on lout to stop him begging on the streets

Serial pest Thomas Taws has been banned from begging.

Taws terrified shop staff and passers-by with his persistently aggressive begging.

The 33-year-old vagrant was known to sometimes sleep rough in Newcastle's Leazes Park, he would use surrounding bushes and the lake as a toilet.

But he has now been banned from the city centre after he was given a two-year Asbo by Gosforth magistrates.

Taws, of Hexham House, Walker, Newcastle, was told he faces arrest and possible jail if he breaks the terms of his conditions.

Staff at fast food shops and security staff at Eldon Square regularly faced Taws' rants and harassment.

He was well-known to police and had a long history of disorderly behaviour.

PC Kelly Hetherington, said: "Taws is also very aggressive when begging for money from passers-by and we don't want people to feel uncomfortable or threatened when they come into the city."

The order bars Taws from:

Acting in a manner or engaging in any activity either alone or with others which causes, or is likely to cause, directly or indirectly, harassment, alarm or distress to any person

Consuming alcohol or being in possession of an open container of alcohol in a public place except on licensed premises, and

Entering Newcastle parking meter zone or Leazes Park.

Traders and shoppers today welcomed the Asbo.

One 55-year-old trader, who didn't want to be named, said: "I know him. I'm not going to say how but I know him.

"He's a hassle. I had a business nearby and he was always causing a problem.

"I'm pleased police are doing something about it. It can be quite frightening actually, for older people especially.

"Trouble is there's nowhere for addicts to go so really they need to do something about his problem. I feel sorry for him in a way."

And a 22-year-old street trader, who would only give his name as Adam, from Cullercoats, added: "I've seen him around town generally sort of hassling people and pestering them for money. …

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