A HOMELESS MAN sitting in a shop doorway waiting for a friend didn't realise he was in breach of a criminal behaviour order.

Blackburn magistrates heard Russell Summers had been made subject to the order because of his persistent begging in and around Blackburn town centre.

And a District Judge told him that no matter how minor the breach he would eventually go to prison.

Summers, 54, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to breaching the criminal behaviour order. He was made subject to a community order for six months with 10 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said an officer walking down Darwen Street saw Summers sitting in a doorway. He knew he was subject to an exclusion and checked to find he was in breach.

Ian Huggan, defending, said his client was only just inside the exclusion area and was not aware he was in breach.

"Because of the current situation there were not many people around," said Mr Huggan. "He says he has been around that area before and police have spoken to him and not taken any action. They can't be criticised for that but it can cause confusion for someone like my client.

District Judge Joanne Hirst said: "I know you were just sitting around but in the end you will go to prison for that if you are inside the area."