Window-breaker wanted to be jailed

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man threw bricks at a shop’s windows in order to get locked up again because he couldn’t face living on the streets anymore, a court heard.

Ben Higginson, of no fixed address, admitted criminal damage by smashing windows at Leigh’s Iceland store, causing thousands of pounds damage.

Wigan magistrates heard the 28-year-old had been living on the streets and told officers who attended that he had broken the windows because he was hungry.

Bob Toppin, defending, said: “Mr Higginson has been quite clear that he is looking forward to going back to custody where he has a bed and three meals a day. It is sad when people reach this low but he doesn’t have anywhere to live and he sleeps on the street. He drinks or uses drugs as soon as he gets his benefits.

“He has broken a post-custody order four times and probation have tried to help him find accommodation. He told me that he can’t cope on the streets anymore. If he goes back to custody he will be able to speak to Shelter and hopefully get some accommodation sorted out.

“He will also be back under the supervision of probation and he will get help. It is sad that this is what it has come to. He is a very likeable young man to speak to.”

The court heard that the incident happened at about 10pm on Tuesday when a witness saw the defendant throwing bricks at a window.

Ann Deakin, prosecuting, said: “The witness told a nearby PCSO who attended and discovered the defendant who was arrested for criminal damage. The defendant admitted smashing the windows and said it was because he was hungry. The estimated cost to repair the windows is between £3,000 and £4,000.”

Higginson was given an eight-week jail term.