September 6, 2010 11.53 am This story is over 160 months old

Pretend Lincoln beggars were professionals

Professionals: Arrested beggars were found to have homes and receive benefits, earning up to £15,000 per year from people’s mercy.

Two professional Lincoln beggars appeared in court, after they were caught out by Lincolnshire Police during an anti-vagrancy campaign.

Daniel Terry (31), of Clarendon View, Lincoln, and Robert Reid (38), of Lawrence Close were prosecuted at Lincoln Magistrates Court.

Police revealed in August that beggars on the streets of Lincoln can earn over £15,000 per year without tax, the equivalent of a £20,000 salary.

Magistrates heard Reid was begging to pay off debts, pretending to be homeless. He said he had debts over £1,000 to official companies and loan sharks.

Reid used a sleeping bag and a sign pretending he was homeless, but he actually lives in a council flat on Lawrence Close.

Terry was caught begging at Brayford Wharf North, after repeated police warnings. He said he can make up to £100 on a Saturday or Sunday, and £50 on a weekday.

Terry has a history of 46 previous offences and 22 convictions, lives temporarily in a flat on Clarendon View, and is receiving £80 per week incapacity benefits.

Reid received a 12 month conditional discharge, while Terry was fined £100. The Vagrancy Act 1824 no longer allows magistrates to imprison beggars.

Source: Lincolnshire Echo [1] [2] | Photo: Donald Macleod