Man in stupor on bench given fine by court

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A MAN found by police officers on a bench in a drunken stupor in Wigan town centre has been fined by magistrates.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Martin Ward, from Tyldesley, was approached by police after being found on Wallgate in an unresponsive condition shortly after noon on July 23.

When approached he was abusive and foul-mouthed towards the police officer, swearing in front of families with young children, and was arrested.

Ward, of Primrose Avenue, pleaded guilty to the offence of being drunk and disorderly.

Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon told the court police had approached Ward, 46, shortly before the incident on Wallgate as he was sat on a bench in Market Place holding out a cup and appearing to be begging.

Ms Kenyon said: “The officer spoke to him and formed the opinion he had been drinking as he was slurring his words.

“A PCSO also spoke to him about begging in the town centre and gave him some paperwork which he threw. He also made an abusive gesture towards the officer.

“He was advised about his behaviour and told to leave the area, and walked away towards the shops on Wallgate.

“However, a short time later an officer returned and found him sitting on a bench in a stupor. He swore at the officer and as there were members of the public including children in the area the officer arrested him.”

Ward, who was not represented by a solicitor, apologised to the magistrates and said he was embarrassed by his behaviour.

He was fined a total of £165 made up of a court charge of £150 and a victims’ surcharge of £15, with the magistrates agreeing to waive the £85 costs as Ward already owed £928 to the court which is in the process of being deducted from his benefits.

Ward also admitted he had a problem with alcohol and was told to speak to the probation service.