Jarrow addict jailed for street begging in Sunderland

A drug addict from Jarrow was supplementing his benefit payments by begging in the street.

Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th January 2016, 9:34 am

Gavin Whitup, 38, was arrested in High Street West, Sunderland, on December 22.

“He was seen just after 5pm, sitting in a doorway of a disused shop with a paper cup at his feet and engaging members of the public in conversation,” prosecutor David Maddison told Sunderland magistrates.

He had a piece of cardboard with the words ‘Can you please spare some change and a hot drink and food’.

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Whitup, of Eden Walk, admitted begging – his third such conviction.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “He’s had a drug dependency problem for a number of years. Unfortunately his finances don’t stretch to paying for the drugs and he resorts to begging.” He was given a six-month conditional discharge and a £15 victim surcharge.