Beggars can’t be choosers, but they can be fraudsters

I bet this ratbag isn’t the only fraud supposedly begging on the streets.

A Hastings beggar was convicted of fraud yesterday after he claimed to be homeless when he was not.

Police confirmed Frank Lovich’s case was heard in the Hastings District Court yesterday.  

Lovich pleaded guilty by audio visual link to 16 charges on Monday, Fairfax reported.

The offending happened on November 16 when Lovich went to the Bay City Plaza mall and held a sign begging for food, shelter and money, claiming he was homeless, Fairfax said.

According to a summary of facts, Lovich is paid $380 per week by Work and Income, and has a home in Hastings.

Lovich admitted the facts and said Work and Income did not give him enough money, Fairfax said.

He will reappear in April for sentencing.

Beggars can’t be choosers but they can be fraudsters.

This is a good precedent, now round up all the rest of them and investigate their circumstances. However, it sounds like the Police are being exceptionally gay over the matter.

Sergeant Cameron Donnison said Lovich had a long history of offending. Police were not about to start charging all beggars with fraud, and Lovich was a special case that required this approach.

A Ministry of Social Development spokesman said the issue of begging on streets was led by local councils.

“We endeavour to ascertain a client’s financial position as we assess what assistance we can provide them. We rely on clients to provide an honest and full account of their current financial position, including any current sources of income,” he said.

Lawmakers and councils around the country grapple with the issue of begging and how to deal with it.

It seems charging them with fraud seems a good start.

I can’t wait for a Labour MP to stick up for him nad other like him, though.

It does look as though the Hawkes Bay has two good judges, Tony Adeane and Bridget Mackintosh. I think the Justice Minister should rotate judges through Hawkes Bay to study under Judge Tony Adeane and Judge  Judge Bridget Mackintosh.

 

-HB Today

 


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