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Banning order for beggar who ‘pretended to be homeless’

A beggar who police say pretended to be homeless to get money from members of the public has now been banned from loitering anywhere in Bassetlaw with a view to begging.

Shane Hulls was handed his two-year extended criminal behaviour order after he pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation – namely using someone else’s bank card without permission to buy bottles of spirit in Worksop town centre on 20 April 2023.

The 34-year-old was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, when he appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 23 October 2023.

The Worksop neighbourhood policing team has worked closely with Bassetlaw District Council to manage Hull’s persistent behaviour, and this joint work has now resulted in the court granting an extension to a criminal behaviour order Hull already had in place banning him from entering Retford town centre.

Under the terms of his extended order, which is place until 30 March 2026, Hulls, of Lowtown View, Worksop, has now also been banned from entering areas of Worksop town centre and ordered not to enter any retail premise in Worksop town centre, including the Priory Centre and its car park.

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Hulls has also been ordered not to loiter anywhere in Bassetlaw district nor approach anyone in the district, with a view to obtaining cash or food for himself.

Police Constable George Long, Worksop town centre beat manager, said:

“We submitted this application on the back of receiving a large number of complaints, over a very short time, from Worksop town centre businesses and members of the public.

“We have a duty to protect our businesses and their customers from fear, harassment, and alarm and we hope this extended order will prevent Hulls from harassing and exploiting the kind and trustworthy public that have fallen victim to his repeated intimidatory behaviour over the past few months.

“This summer Hulls was given housing by the council, but this had zero effect and he continued his antisocial behaviour, under the guise that he was homeless, in order to extract money from the public.

“He has been afforded many opportunities to address his offending behaviour and been offered multiple chances at having a home and being housed at the council’s expense, all of which have fallen through due to his behaviour.

“He had also been offered robust help and support by agencies but instead made a conscious decision to return to drugs and criminality.

“As we have shown in this instance, we will not tolerate distressing behaviour of this nature, which affects the footfall of local businesses and causes misery for their customers, and this extended order will hopefully serve as a deterrent to Hulls as well as giving businesses and respite some welcome respite.”

Councillor Lynne Schuller, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Bassetlaw District Council, said:

“Shane Hulls has been given many, many opportunities to change his lifestyle and a tremendous amount of support to help him do this, from a number of different agencies, including the council in the form of housing.

“We are pleased Nottinghamshire Police has taken this action to protect the public and our businesses from Hull’s opportunism, criminality and deceptive behaviour.

“Should you see Shane in any of the areas he is now banned from, please report this to Nottinghamshire Police on 101.”

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