|‘Homeless’ Beggar Banned From Putney|
Magistrates heard that he lives in a £300k flat in Fulham
An aggressive street beggar who claimed he was homeless and pestered people for money in Putney High Street, was actually living in a £300,000 flat in Fulham, magistrates were told this week.
Simon Wright would spend his day sitting with his dog next to a cashpoint machine near Putney Station demanding money from bank customers and passers-by.
He wore ragged clothes and claimed to be homeless and hungry.
But at the end of the day, instead of finding a hostel or a shelter to take refuge in, the 37-year-old would make the short walk across Putney Bridge to his comfortable flat in Fulham High Street.
His days of fleecing Putney shoppers and visitors have now been brought to an end thanks to a team effort involving the Thamesfield ward safer neighbourhoods team, the council’s community safety department and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Mr Wright has been hit with an anti-social behaviour order (asbo) which bans him from visiting Putney and Roehampton and prohibits him from begging anywhere in London.
He has also been ordered to keep his dog muzzled and under control at all times in a public place after the court heard that it had bitten at least one person.
And he is prohibited from behaving in an aggressive or threatening way towards any person.
The order will remain in place until May 2015. If Mr Wright breaches any if its terms he could be sent to prison for up to five years and face an unlimited fine.
The council’s community safety spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said:
“Many people felt frightened and intimidated by him and there is some evidence to suggest that he used his dog to threaten and pressure people into handing over their cash. His behaviour was an absolute disgrace. The fact that he was actually living in a comfortable flat in Fulham, something that many of his victims can only dream of, just adds insult to injury.
“Everyone who has been appalled by Mr Wright’s behaviour will I’m sure wish to congratulate the Thamesfield Safer Neighbourhoods Team, especially Pc Oliver Strebel, who was the officer in the case and also the Crown Prosecution Service whose lawyers worked so closely with the police to bring about this very positive result for Putney.”
Under the terms of his asbo, Mr Wright can only enter the SW15 postal area if he is attending a pre-arranged appointment with his solicitor or if he is taking his dog to see an RSPCA vet.
Anyone who suspects that he is in breach of the order is urged to call Wandsworth police immediately via the 999 call line.
Pc Strebel added:“Following on from the successful prosecution of Simon Wright for fraud and begging - where he pleaded guilty to both charges in court, we were able to proceed with getting a post conviction Asbo. This has ensured his permanent removal from the high street. This result is excellent news for Putney and the people of Putney.”