Job centre damaged in protest over benefits

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a HUNGRY benefits ‘protester’ smashed a job centre window and then handed himself in to police - asking officers to feed him, a court heard.

Officers saw Brian Coleman, aged 44, lying on the bonnet of a police car smoking a cigarette on the night of August 8.

Chesterfield magistrates were told that, when he was asked what he was doing, he said: “Anything for breakfast, pal - I’m hungry.”

John Cooper, prosecuting, said Coleman admitted smashing a window at the job centre using lumps of concrete and said he had been ‘waiting’ for officers because he wanted some food.

“He said he had had his benefits reduced, causing him hardship and stress. He was fed-up with the system.

“He then went to Bolsover police station and sat on a car. He said it was a protest and a matter of pride.”

Bob Sowter, defending, said: “It was a protest on the spur of the moment.

“His employment and support allowance was suspended and going through a tribunal.

“He was frustrated at the choices he was having to make - paying his bills or eating - and he didn’t want to get further into debt.

“Rather bizarrely, I would ask for him to be given credit for waiting for the police to arrest him. He regrets the offence.”

Coleman, of Nether Springs Road, Bolsover, admitted damaging property and was ordered to pay £228 compensation, with an additional £85 for costs.