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Town Centre Man Fined After Incident

Friday November 8 2013

Barnsley Magistrates' Court Barnsley Magistrates' Court

ONE of the best-known characters on the town centre's streets has been fined £50 for something which happened in 10 seconds.

Dean Saunders, 42, who has been effectively homeless for more than a decade, was spoken to by police because he was among a group of people drinking in a zone where it is banned, Barnsley Magistrates' Court was told.

A can of lager had been thrust into his hand as he walked past the group, according to his solicitor Philip Stables.

Mr Stables added: "Mr Saunders was the only person the police spoke to. He poured the lager away, walked off, there was an exchange of words and he was arrested.

"One wonders why this matter has ended up in court when there are other ways that it could have been dealt with. This was a minor incident which was over in 10 seconds.

"Mr Saunders, who is well known in the town centre and has been effectively homeless for 10 years, was put in emergency accommodation two weeks ago.

"He has been on bail with a condition that he does not go in the town centre between 9am and 5pm. That was a massive restriction on his liberty."

Christopher Knowles, prosecuting, said Saunders asked a police officer as he poured the drink away: "Are you f***ing happy now?"

Mr Knowles said some old folk in earshot were 'disgusted' by the remarks. He said Saunders uttered a stream of expletives as he walked off.

Saunders, of Calder Avenue, Royston, admitted using threatening words and behaviour. He was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.