A FORMER Torquay beggar who was banned from large parts of the town has complained to a court that State benefit cuts have left him with less than a fiver a day to live on.
Glenn Skinner admitted begging on Exeter's Cathedral Green last Monday when he approached a man who looked a 'bit lonely' to ask him for change for a cool drink.
Skinner told a court:"He was a copper. I thought he looked a bit lonely and we could have a chat."
But then the 42 year old explained why he had been arrested three times since April for begging after admitting this latest offence.
He told Exeter magistrates: "I have no excuses but I am finding it a bit tough.
"Quite recently I have not had every much money, if anything, I have less than a £5 a day to live on."
The court heard he was a prolific beggar and had approached a number of people for 'change for a cool drink'.
The JPs fined him £120 and reminded him he was not above the law and warned him he faces jail if he continues to beg.
The news comes in the same week as Exeter City Council in partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police introduced a controversial anti-begging campaign.
The team behind the campaign argue that people who give money to beggars are doing more harm than good as money handed over is often spent on drugs or alcohol or to fund a comfortable lifestyle away from the streets.