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Issues Man reveals he earns more begging than receiving salary

Craig Atkinson says that he earns money to look after his children, not for any personal gain

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A beggar, Craig Atkinson has told a Magistrate Court that his income would drop if he took "a  regular job". Craig, 36, pleaded

guilty to begging and said the cash went on his two children.

He said: “If I got a proper regular job, I would get less money than I am doing this.

“People give me money. There are no victims. Other people sustain a £200 drug habit but mine goes to my two teenage children.”

He told Nottingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday that he is homeless but went on: “I have got a few roofs. The problem in my life is I will not be in one place.”

He was given a six-month conditional discharge with a £15 government surcharge.

He said: “I can pay that for you now.” But when magistrates also ordered £85 prosecution costs he replied: “Please send me to prison. I have no intention of paying it.”

Margaret Martin, prosecuting, said: “He said he makes more with this than with a job.”

The court heard that begging was a major problem in Nottingham and a police operation was set up to combat it.

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