Fareham nuisance beggar told by Portsmouth judge: 'The world doesn't run to your rules'

A NUISANCE beggar who has tied up hours of police time had her excuses cut short by a judge who said: ‘I don’t believe you.’

Friday, 14th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 8:42 am

Rebecca Connelly was close to tears at Portsmouth Crown Court as she sought to place blame on everyone but herself.

The 28-year-old has been banned from Fareham town centre and from begging but has four times breached a criminal behaviour order.

Taking her to task, judge William Ashworth pointed out her relationship, with fellow crack and heroin addict David Featherston, is leading her into trouble by begging and he is getting the drugs.

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Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: César Moreno Huerta

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In court, PC Karen Stevenson said: ‘They both have a class A addiction to crack cocaine and heroin and they, when Miss Connelly begs, David Featherson will hang around in the background and be of assistance to her should she have any problems with anyone that she begs from or seeks money from.

‘He will then intervene and aid her should there be any problems.

‘I would say that out of the two of them Miss Connelly is the more controlling out of the relationship.’

Questioning Connelly, judge Ashworth asked: ‘What is the biggest primary problem that you’ve got?’

Connelly said: ‘Putting myself first.’

The judge hit back: ‘No, it’s your drug addiction.

‘There will be reasons why but you can’t think beyond heroin day-to-day and you’ll do anything.

‘You’ll go out, when you know the police are going to pick you up, and beg because it’s demanding everything.’

Judge Ashworth said there were a ‘huge number of reasons’ someone would be sympathetic to her situation. He reminded her she did not see her daughter due to her being a mother who is ‘homeless, taking drugs and (is) in and out of court’.

But he repeatedly had to stop her interrupting. He said: ‘You’re going to listen because the world doesn’t run according to your rules.’

Connelley was handed the order on November 22 last year. The same day she was spotted by police at 4.40pm and told officers she was collecting a methadone script.

But police knew it was a lie. They had taken her to Tesco pharmacy before court that morning.

Two days later she approached two people at 8.30pm outside One Stop asking them for cash but they refused as they recognised her. Connelly launched a foul-mouthed tirade as she walked off.

On January 2 at 2pm she was spotted at a car park by police. She was arrested and hauled into court the next day.

But on January 4 she was back at it again. Connelly claimed she was pregnant, begging for cash to eat. Her target offered to take her to get food but she refused, taking £10 in cash.

When she spotted £5 in his wallet she claimed she needed £4 for a bus fare. When police arrived Connelly claimed she knew the person and was not begging. She was then arrested.

Connelly will meet the housing team at HMP Bronzefield. She will be sentenced on March 6.