A HOMELESS woman who was causing a nuisance to shopkeepers in Blackburn town centre became abusive when security asked her to move on.

Blackburn magistrates heard Conchetta Louveina Grech threw food items and became abusive.

Grech, 36, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour. She was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £21 victim surcharge.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the incident took place at 11.26 am on Northgate. She was causing a nuisance to shopkeepers and was refusing to move her belongings.

She abused the security staff who asked her to move on and when police arrived shouted further abuse at them," said Miss Allan.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client was struggling at the moment. She had been thrown out of her hostel accommodation for rent arrears because of problems with her benefits.

"She was trying to find some shelter when she was approached by the Mall staff and she accepts she should have shown more restraint," said Mr Taylor.