A HOMELESS man breached a criminal behaviour order because a Blackburn town centre chippy was giving free portions to people living on the streets.

Blackburn magistrates heard Russell Summers went onto Darwen Street in breach of the order despite a warning from a judge four days earlier that continued breaches would land him in prison.

But magistrates decided to give him another chance to comply, with another warning.

“Don’t think this is in any way excusing your behaviour and allowing you to breach the order in the future,” said the chairman.

Summers, 54, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to breaching the order by entering Blackburn town centre.

He was fined £80 with £34 victim surcharge which was set against the night he had spent in custody.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said a police officer had seen Summers in Darwen Street on the edge of the exclusion zone.

He asked if he had been further up the road and Summers said he hadn’t.

“When the officer checked CCTV footage it showed that was not the case,” said Mr Robinson.

Ian Huggan, defending, said there had been a number of breaches of the order, the latest just four days earlier.

“The order is meant to prevent him causing harassment, harm or distress and there is no suggestion he has caused any of those,” said Mr Huggan.

He said a chip shop on Darwen Street had been giving away free food to the homeless and Summers went with some friends.

“He has previously attended soup kitchens but because of the current situation they are closed,” said Mr Huggan.