Homeless man fined at court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
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A Wigan man missed several post-prison sentence appointments because he was sleeping rough.

Jamie Ratchford had spent 18 weeks in prison and was ordered to attend probation sessions following his release in March.

But the 24-year-old was sent back to prison just one week later for breaching his community order, before being released again on May 26. But again, Ratchford only began attending his appointments sporadically.

When a warrant was issued for his arrest because his whereabouts were unknown, Ratchford revealed he had been homeless since leaving prison, and was relying on several friends who would let him sleep on their sofas in between sleeping on the streets.

Probation services had recommended Ratchford be returned to prison, but a court instead imposed a £30 fine and ordered him to attend all future appointments.