‘They have a vendetta against Mr Lyons’

Topping Street is part of the scheme
Topping Street is part of the scheme

A lawyer claimed his client was the target of a “vendetta” by Blackpool Council.

Homeless John Lyons would be reported to police by council officers even if he just stopped walking around town centre streets, Blackpool Magistrates heard.

The 38-year-old, now living on Pleasant Street, admitted three breaches of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) imposed by the local authority by loitering on footpaths near Home Bargains, near Ma Kelly’s and on Topping Street.

Magistrates fined Lyons £50 but said he would not have to pay the fine because of the time he had spent in custody.

They also remitted nearly £700 in fines previously imposed by courts.

Hugh Pond, defending, said: “Blackpool Council does not like people who sleep rough.

“That is why he was made the subject of this order.

“They have mounted something of a vendetta against Mr Lyons and he keeps getting arrested.

“This order needs revoking or revising.

“He is barred from going into certain areas of Blackpool.”

Lyons has appeared in The Gazette numerous times in recent years including in March this year when he was jailed for 10 weeks for breaching the CB) – an order which was imposed just three days earlier.

A spokesman for Blackpool Council said: “In March 2018 a Criminal Behaviour Order was granted setting out a number of conditions that Mr Lyons had to abide by.

“If council officers witness any of these conditions being breached they will report it to the police to take appropriate action.“