Have you ever wondered about the untold stories of those who find themselves on the streets, relying on the kindness of strangers to make ends meet?
What if we told you about a beggar who, rather than just scraping by, managed to amass a staggering amount of money annually from the generosity of passersby?
The shocking truth behind the banning of this beggar from asking for money will leave you astounded and questioning the boundaries of compassion and legality.
This is the intriguing tale of James Chamber, the beggar who defied expectations and now faces consequences that few could have predicted.
Based in Lincoln, James has been banned from asking people for money after it was revealed that he was making over £20,000 a year from the kindness of locals.
Having no fixed abode, this 30-year-old man had been a regular fixture outside a McDonald's in Lincoln city centre, where he would plead for cash. The court heard that he received a mix of money, goods, and food from compassionate strangers.
Chamber's income was staggering - he made £420 every week, adding up to nearly £1,700 per month, all tax-free.
His lucrative begging activities have come to an end as he faced the consequences in court. He was handed a criminal behaviour order (CBO) that not only prohibits him from asking for money but also from "sitting on the floor or otherwise placing himself in a position to gather money."
Moreover, Chamber has been banned from approaching anyone within the city of Lincoln boundaries to request money or goods. His money-making routine, which earned him up to £60 a day over nine months along the High Street and other parts of the city, led to his conviction on 13 begging offences and one public order offence dating back to February.
In addition to the CBO, Chamber received a 12-month conditional discharge. Breaching the CBO could result in jail time of up to five years.
Lincoln Inspector Steve Parker commented on the situation, saying, "We do everything we can to work with support agencies like housing, addiction charities, and mental health services to reduce offending by individuals while ensuring we protect the public from any harm they might cause. We live and work in this community as well, and making the city centre a safe and enjoyable place to visit matters to us and our families. Hopefully, people visiting and working in Lincoln can now feel a little more relaxed that they won't be approached as Chambers' begging is going to reduce significantly. If he does beg in the city centre again, this will be a breach of his court order."
A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police added, "We keep a continued watch of people who we have issued CBOs for, in partnership with the City of Lincoln Council, and we proactively release their image so that members of the community have the opportunity to stay clear of their offending, and are more able to report an incident if one occurs. If you have an incident you feel needs police attention, please contact us on 101."
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