Lincoln man fined for refusing to hand over bottle of cider to council officer

A Lincoln man has been ordered to pay £570 for breaching the city’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) after refusing to surrender alcohol to council officers.

Andrew McInnes, 43, of Chatterton Avenue, was found guilty in his absence at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 5, receiving a £200 fine and ordered to pay £200 costs, a victims’ surcharge of £20 and £150 Criminal Courts Charge.

The court heard that on Friday, May 8, a council officer accompanied by a police officer attended the New Life Church, in Newland, to serve McInnes with papers relating to a separate prosecution.

McInnes smelt strongly of alcohol and the police officer could see bottles of cider in a carrier bag, which he asked McInnes to surrender.

McInnes handed over an open bottle but refused to surrender the sealed bottle.

This was the third successful prosecution following the introduction of the PSPO and the first relating to alcohol offences.

It follows the first two cases to be heard in court for breaching the PSPO – which also bans the public consumption of so-called ‘legal highs’ – that took place last month and were both successful.

The area covered by the legal highs and alcohol ban in Lincoln.

The area covered by the legal highs and alcohol ban in Lincoln.

In April, Lincoln became the first place in the country to ban the public consumption of legal highs and alcohol in the city centre, in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Sam Barstow, Service Manager for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour at City of Lincoln Council, said: “It is pleasing that the court has once again backed our use of a PSPO to tackle issues in Lincoln city centre related to substance misuse.

“McInnes is well known to council officers and we have been working hard to try to ensure he receives the help and support that he needs. Sadly this can often be unsuccessful and in order to protect people from becoming a victim due to his behaviour, legal action is sometimes necessary.

“The council and its partners will continue to work with McInnes to try to improve outcomes but it is also key that we ensure we provide protection for others within the city at the same time.

“In our consultation to bring in this order, it was clear the public supported the need to tackle on-street drinking and we are working hard to ensure we see a positive impact in our city centre.”