Roadside beggar 'could go to prison' if he continues harassing drivers, as courts issue behaviour order

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A man who "persistently aggressively begged" from drivers stopped at traffic lights in Leeds and Bradford has been given a three-year criminal behaviour order.

Iliuta Caldarar, aged 44, of Harehills, was made the subject of the order by magistrates in Leeds this week after he was convicted and fined over breaching a community protection notice by begging from motorists in Chapeltown Road and Claypit Lane on June 28.

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West Yorkshire Police say Caldarar "has a home and is in receipt of benefits", and have insisted the order is a "last resort".

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Iliuta Caldarar was issued with the order by Leeds Magistrates Court.Iliuta Caldarar was issued with the order by Leeds Magistrates Court.
Iliuta Caldarar was issued with the order by Leeds Magistrates Court.

The Safer Leeds Street Support Team say they had previously tried to address his behaviour through a range of other measures, but he repeatedly refused to stop or engage with support agencies.

Incidents saw him walking among traffic, banging on car windows, giving obscene gestures, and spitting at waiting vehicles. The police received numerous complaints and those he targeted reported feeling intimidated or harassed by his behaviour.

Any breach of the order means he commits a criminal offence and can be arrested and prosecuted and could receive a prison sentence.

The order bans him from begging in any public place anywhere in the Leeds District, including being static or mobile, displaying any sign and being in possession of a cup or card to do so.

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He cannot sit, sleep or loiter in an area accessible to the public with any item, such as a cup, hat, quilt, sleeping bag or sign, that would give the impression he was homeless or begging.

He must not block entrances and exits to any residential or commercial doorway or public footpaths in the area.

He must not enter an area within Clay Pit Lane, Sheepscar Street South, Roseville Road and Barrack Road in Leeds or an area within Shipley Airedale Road, Canal Road, Valley Road, Midland Road, Spring Gardens, Sylhet Close, Lumb Lane, Westgate, Barry Street, Goit Side, Quebec Street, Great Horton Road, Chester Street, Senior Way, Croft Street and Leeds Road in Bradford (see maps)

He must not act in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public and must not act in a manner likely to compromise the safety of self or others – e.g. walking in between traffic banging on car windows, offer obscene gestures and/or spit at waiting vehicles.

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Acting Inspector Pat Kenning, of the Leeds City Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We continue to work closely alongside our partner agencies to divert those in genuine need away from begging and get them the help and support they need.

“Enforcement action is always a last resort after repeated attempts to engage with and support people, and we would never seek to unnecessarily criminalise those who beg.

“Where necessary and appropriate, enforcement remains a valid option to address the kind of anti-social behaviour that impacts on the daily lives of people in our communities.

“Caldarar’s persistent aggressive begging has had a significant negative impact on those he has targeted, as well as presenting a potential danger to himself and other road users.

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“Despite previous partnership work to get him to stop, he has continued with this sustained pattern of anti-social behaviour.

“We hope that this order will be effective in addressing his behaviour, and we encourage the public to assist us by reporting any breaches of the order if they do see him begging.”