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Stay away! Shouting woman hit by town centre ban after tirades

Cedar Square and St John's Church
Cedar Square and St John's Church

A homeless woman has been banned from Blackpool town centre after upsetting members of a church congregation.

Hannah Ali, 23, was shouting and swearing at the entrance to St John’s Church, Blackpool Magistrates was told. The court heard how Ali was made the subject of community protection notice designed to curb her behaviour.

She would sleep rough in town centre business doorways and subject council wardens with abuse when they tried to move her on.

Blackpool Council successfully asked Blackpool Magistrates for a Criminal Behaviour Order on Ali which means if she breaks its terms she can be arrested by police.

Nicola Morgan, prosecuting for the council, said the new order bans Ali from much of the town centre unless she has pre-booked appointments with official bodies.

She said that Ali launched a tirade of abuse against wardens on July 8 and 19 when they tried to get her to leave areas where she had been sleeping.

Ali lost her temper at one stage and tried to headbutt windows belonging at the Winter Gardens, the court heard. She said that the new order was needed to make sure the public was not harassed alarmed or distressed by Ali. She added: “The council wants to help her improve her life and stop her engaging with similar types of people.

“She has been a particular problem in the Cedar Square area (pictured) and the Vicar of St John’s Church has given a statement about the problems he has faced.”

Ali did not attend the hearing of the application but her lawyer Gary McAnulty told the court: “Her behaviour has been out of order but what the council is trying to do is ensure tourists have a good time and are not bothered by homeless people.

“The use of this legislation is not to assist the defendants live better lives.

“I have another client made the subject of a similar order and he has been arrested 80 times just for walking through a banned area. Miss Ali has been in Blackpool for 12 months and she has not been shoplifting or anything like that.”

Ali, of no fixed address was made the subject of a two year criminal behaviour order. She was fined £50 for nine breaches of her community protection notice and must pay £30 victims’ surcharge.

Blackpool Council has been approached for comment.