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Beggar must pay £155 after unwittingly targeting off-duty police officer in plain clothes

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A street beggar who asked an off-duty police officer in plain clothes for 60p has been ordered to pay £155 for illegal begging.

Jamie Godley, 25, of Lower Grove Road, Chesterfield, unwittingly targeted the off-duty police officer in Market Place, Chesterfield, who arrested him, according to a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on January 3.

Rod Chapman, prosecuting, said the officer was approached on his way to work and Godley asked for 60p and he was arrested because this was the second time he had been caught begging.

Godley, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to begging after the incident in October.

Kirsty Sargent, defending, said Godley’s benefits had been temporarily stopped and he just wanted money for a coffee to keep warm. Godley was fined £40 and must pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.