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Nuisance beggar hit with town centre behaviour order

Crime and safety

Monday, 04 March 2024
Malcolm Wanless

A beggar who has tormented town centre shoppers and businesses has been hit with a powerful banning order.

Malcolm Wanless has been begging in Middlesbrough over the last eight years, and has numerous convictions for fraud and theft.

The 67-year-old is regularly abusive to shop staff, wardens and members of the public who refuse to give him money or buy him food.

Following an application heard at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, Middlesbrough Council has now been granted a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) under the 2014 Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act.

The court found Wanless, of Yarm Road, Stockton, guilty of conduct causing or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The two-year CBO bans him from making verbal, non-verbal or written requests for goods, money, or donations of any kind from any other person in any place accessible to the public within the borough of Middlesbrough.

He is also barred from obstructing the highway by sitting, standing, or squatting on the pavement or street, near any business or cash machine.

Councillor Janet Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Community Safety, said: “This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable, and I’m pleased the courts are helping us to stamp it out.

“This individual clearly has issues, and we would always prefer to help anyone in such circumstances access the support they need before pursuing enforcement action.

“But residents, business and visitors to the Middlesbrough have an absolute right to enjoy the town free from this sort of harassment and intimidation, and we will take any action necessary to protect them.”