A man was caught repeatedly begging for money in Blackpool town centre.
Michael Mullen had checks made on him by Blackpool Council officials and he was found to have been in receipt of housing benefit for a flat in the resort from 2014.
I don’t know I’m just getting something out of my bag
Mullen, 47, of Shannon Street, Blackpool, who was not present at court, was found guilty of five offences of begging after a trial in his absence.
Blackpool magistrates issued a warrant without bail for his arrest to get him before the court to be sentenced.
Lynda Bennett, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said Mullen was seen begging on five occasions outside TK Maxx or Yates Wine Lodge between February 6 and April 30.
He was often sat on the floor with a pot of change in front of him.
When challenged by a police officer one time as to why he was on the floor, Mullen replied: “I don’t know I’m just getting something out of my bag.”