A foul-mouthed and aggressive beggar who terrorised shoppers in Middlesbrough has been hit with a powerful court order.
In addition to demands for cash, Mark Heard hurled racist and homophobic abuse at Council officers and members of the public over a period of several months.
Teesside County Court heard how the 41-year-old would target people arriving to collect takeaways from Linthorpe eateries including Manjaro's and Peri Peri, while other regular begging spots included Gilkes Street and Park Lane.
When challenged by one restaurant manager in January this year, Heard retorted: "Daft ****, I'll punch your ******* head in, I'll wipe you clean out."
Later the same month Heard was caught on camera hurling foul-mouthed abuse at two Street Wardens who had intervened to stop him begging for cash and cigarettes on Linthorpe Road.
The following month he was issued with an anti-social behaviour warning letter, but the abuse continued, including threats to ‘knock clean out' a Street Warden who approached him.
In a further incident in March, Heard again threatened two Street Wardens on Linthorpe Road, telling them: "They can send me to ******* jail…I'll get my body back when I go to jail, I'll be a big muscly **** when I come out and then I can knock youse all out."
In a statement to the court, Steve Elwick, of Middlesbrough Council's Neighbourhood Safety Team, said: "A substantial amount of support has been provided to Heard in order to try to help him address his chaotic and problematic lifestyle but this has been to no avail in stopping or even lessening his involvement in anti-social behaviour."
Now Heard, of Lytton Street, has been handed a sweeping civil injunction to protect law-abiding members of the public and Council staff.
The 12-month order granted at Teesside County Court bans Heard from:
- Verbally abusing or directing foul language towards or abusive hand gestures towards or intimidating language or behaviour towards any person in any publicly accessible place in Middlesbrough
- Making any verbal, written or non-verbal request for money, donations or any other goods in any publicly accessible place within Middlesbrough
Welcoming the court order, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "Mark terrifies members of the public and we have to stop him.
"Various teams have tried so hard to help him to improve his situation but I'm really sorry to say that he doesn't want help.
"In order to protect decent people we had no alternative but to take this action."