READERS have reacted in disgust at hearing a Barrow man has been taken to court for begging.

Anthony Robson, of Egerton Court, pleaded guilty to a public order offence and begging in public when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old admitted the offences which happened on Monday.

He was fined £40 for each offence and also told to pay a £32 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Mail readers have argued the man should have been offered help instead of being prosecuted.

Stephen Snell said: “How the hell is that gonna help the poor guy? He’s probably begging for help... Universal Credit been stopped. Instead of arresting how about helping?”

Paul Reid said: “What kind of society do we live in,when people clearly struggling with finances are forced to pay money they quite clearly haven’t got?”

Janet Bury described the prosecution as ‘ridiculous’.

“I don’t give to them but anyone who wants to sit there begging in this freezing weather is desperate whatever their circumstances,” she added.

“Help is out there if your face fits or you have the strength to trail round all the agencies not everyone can. The fine is a joke.”

Judith Tyson said: "We don’t give these poor people money to pay court fines that likely contain a victim surcharge. These people are victims themselves; they need to eat they need clothes they need jobs they need money!”

However some readers were also suspicious about the man’s need to beg.

Nicole Goodwin said: “ What I don’t understand is this states he has a home address so he cannot be homeless? Unfortunately a lot of these people beg for money for drugs and its horrible help is out their for addiction they just need to take the big step in asking for it.”