Published: 14:00, 09 May 2014
A habitual beggar who has been asking people for money in Maidstone has a home in Yalding, it has emerged.
David Batt has been prosecuted for begging for the third time in a year - despite living just seven miles away in a semi-detached housing association property in Medway Avenue.
He was caught asking people for money in King Street, Maidstone, last month and found with £19, mostly in small change.
The 34-year-old pleaded guilty at Maidstone Magistrates' Court and fined £35. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Batt has been convicted of begging twice before, in August 2013 and September 2013.
He refused to comment on the latest addition to his criminal record.
Maidstone town centre management lent its support to a borough council campaign that urged residents not to give money to street beggars.
Town centre manager Bill Moss said Batt was well known in the town.
He said: "This man is a habitual nuisance to residents, customers and workers in the town centre.
"He has spent many months begging and received huge sums of money from local people. This man sees begging as an easy way of making money."
Mr Moss added: "The big disappointment is that the court has not dealt with him more seriously as a £35 fine will soon be afforded from money he will scrounge in a few short hours.
"I would urge anybody who feels generous enough to donate money to homeless people to contact Porchlight or Maidstone Day Centre."
Mr Moss said he had noticed more beggars targeting revellers at night, often sitting by cash machines.
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