A BEGGAR who exploited the generosity of residents has been banned from pretending to be homeless and asking people for cash.

Anthony Dorsett, 32, is not homeless and was handed a community protection notice in March which said he could not be intoxicated or behave in an anti-social way in Colchester town centre.

He was also banned from having open alcohol containers, begging and using or being within ten metres of a cash machine.

However Dorsett, of Pondfield Road, Colchester, breached the order by begging in Short Wyre Street.

He admitted two counts of failing to comply with the notice at Colchester Magistrates' Court and was fined £80 and ordered to pay £135 in court charges.

Magistrates later imposed a criminal behaviour order with stringent conditions which prevents him from sitting, standing or loitering on any path or doorway in Colchester town centre with the perception of being homeless, and from begging in Colchester.

Sgt Martin Willsher, of the Colchester town proactive team, said: “We see people every day who are homeless due to personal or financial problems, which can be very complex.

“We work with agencies, charities and community groups through the Safer Colchester Partnership to support those who are in genuine need of help.

“This help was given to Anthony Dorsett, but we received a number of complaints from residents about his prolific begging.

“He continuously exploited the generosity of members of the public and this sort of behaviour is not acceptable.”

Colchester Council's public safety boss Mike Lilley (Lab) said: “We always work to support people and try to offer them a route out of a destructive lifestyle, but ultimately if they refuse to do that we must take action for the good of the community.

“This case shows we are serious about curbing anti-social behaviour, which can have a tremendously detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents and visitors to the town.

“Together with the police and other partners, we want to create a Better Colchester that promises a safer and crime-free town centre that people can enjoy.

"Results like this play a big part in helping us to achieve that ambition.”