Homeless man sentenced to 20 weeks in jail for sitting on ground ‘without a reasonable excuse’
Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images/Twitter

A homeless man in Taunton has been sentenced to 20 weeks in jail for sitting on the ground “without a reasonable excuse”.

Haydon Mark Baker, 33, admitted to Taunton Magistrates Court that he had sat on the ground three times, outside Greggs, McDonald’s and a shop called tReds.

He was ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and sentenced to serve 20 weeks concurrently for each case, which breached a previous Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

One Twitter user claiming to know Mr Baker shared his thoughts:

The court heard there was a high risk Mr Baker could be seen to be begging and that he had breached the CBO several times previously, according to This Is The West Country.

CBOs are usually given to offenders involved in serious crime as well as antisocial behaviour and are made under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Baker had previously been convicted for possession of spice and assaulting a security officer at Taunton Magistrates Court.

Many felt uneasy about the conviction.

According to the Ministry of Justice, in England and Wales last year it cost an average of £37,543 to house a prisoner for one year.

This suggests Mr Baker's stay could cost just shy of £15,000.

A report by Crisis in 2015 suggested it costs £1,426 to prevent homelessness with early intervention for a man in his thirties, with this rising to £20,128 if homelessness persists for 12 months.

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