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Serial Street Beggar Is Told If Convicted Of A New Offence He Could Face Up To A Month In Jail

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Alec Getty from Ballymoney leave Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

PICTURE: MARK JAMIESON

A SERIAL street beggar has heard that if convicted for a new offence he could face up to a month in jail.

Alec Getty (63), of Trinity Drive, Ballymoney, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday accused of begging in the vicinity of Main Street in his home town on May 10 this year.

The charge is that he placed himself ‘to beg or gather alms, contrary to Section 3 of the Vagrancy (Ireland) Act 1847’.

He appeared in the dock on Monday and replied “yes” when asked if he understood the charge.

A police officer said she believed she could connect him to the charge.

Defence solicitor Denise Gillan said she had no questions.

She asked for the case to be adjourned for a week to get the attitude of the defendant to the charge.

The solicitor said her client had a “relevant record”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick asked what sentence such an offence carried and a court clerk replied that it could be up to a month in prison.

The defendant, who the court heard is on benefits, was released on his own bail of £500 with a condition being that he is not to beg from members of the public.

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