Support for homeless man arrested for begging

Protestors outside Magistrates Court EMN-150225-120428009
Protestors outside Magistrates Court EMN-150225-120428009

A homeless man charged with begging in Bridge Street thanked supporters who helped pay his court fees.

David Goodman (30) was arrested earlier this month for asking passers by for spare change.

His arrest was caught on camera, and the video went viral, with tens of thousands of people viewing the footage on Youtube and Facebook.

On Wednesday he appeared at Peterborough Magistrates Court, where he pleaded guilty to begging.

He was supported by a number of people calling themselves “Peterborough Real Love”, who held banners outside court, and also supported him from the public gallery.

Goodman was given a six month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 surcharge.

District Judge Ken Sheraton was later told the money had been paid by the group.

Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph, Goodman said: “I had been on the street after losing my place at a hostel.

“I had not been there long. Other people have been begging there before and for longer.

“I was just asking for a bit of change when I was arrested for begging. The support I have had means a lot to me.”

The video of the arrest has been viewed more than 138,000 times on Peterborough Real Love’s Facebook page, and a spokesman for the campaigning group said: “Homeless people should be helped and supported, not arrested.”

To view the footage, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwHnLZUy_Lc