Beggar jailed for terrorising Wakefield business

Regan McFarlane has been jailed for his behaviour.
Regan McFarlane has been jailed for his behaviour.

A beggar who terrorised staff at an art studio in Wakefield has been jailed for eight weeks and banned from Wakefield centre for three years.

The sentence was handed down at Leeds Magistrates Court against Regan McFarlane, aged 26, of no fixed address.

He was sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment for using threatening and abusive behaviour to staff at the Art House on Drury Lane.

The court heard that on April 1 Regan McFarlane visited the Art House, from which he was previously banned for aggressive behaviour.

On this occasion he made threats to staff which left them fearing for their safety.

He received a further two weeks' jail for failing to appear at court on August 19.

The magistrate also handed him a criminal behaviour order (CBO) for three years.

Under the terms of the CBO Regan McFarlane must not enter Wakefield city centre except when attending pre-arranged appointments such as with solicitors, court, police, dentist, doctor or as directed by the court, when he must take a direct route to and from the appointment and leave the area immediately or as soon as practicably possible after the appointment ends.

He was also barred from asking another person for money in the Wakefield district except as part of a contract of employment or legitimate benefit claim or a retail purchase or a banking transaction.

He was also ordered not to remain in any public building in the Wakefield district when requested to leave by staff working in the building.

Coun Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “Regan McFarlane has repeatedly caused problems in Wakefield city centre, including aggressive begging, using threatening and abusive behaviour at various premises.

"We always prefer the route of moral suasion but when people choose to ignore our appeals then this sentence should send a strong signal that the city will not accept intolerable and inconsiderate behaviour.”