TWO rough sleepers who were given a dispersal order from Chester were found trying to sleep in the city the following night.

Dean Ashfield, 28 and Samantha Bristow, 33, were handed the 24-hour dispersal order by police officers at 9am on Tuesday, August 8, which meant they were to stay out of the city during that time.

But the duo were discovered at Hunter Street with sleeping bags at 3am the following day, Chester Magistrates Court heard on Thursday, August 10.

Both pleaded guilty to breaching the dispersal order and were fined £50 each by magistrates.

However, having previously been forced out of a North Wales home after they were attacked, the court heard "circumstances had changed" and they were able to move back into accommodation in North Wales.

Prosecuting, Rob Youds said Ashfield and Bristow had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Ashfield had 14 convictions for 22 offences, while Bristow had 11 convictions for 20 offences.

Defending, Mark Evans said the pair had tried to find several different places elsewhere to spend the night sleeping rough, but at one they were threatened by a group of people, and at another place they stayed for 20 minutes before discovering it was "infested with vermin".

A third venue – staying at an all-night takeaway – was only temporary until staff told them to move on.

In the end, the one place they knew they could find a place to spend the night was where they had been before, in the city.

Mr Evans added: "Both of them have been co-operative since being arrested, they wish to apologise to the police and the court.

"They are not doing anything except trying to go to sleep."

A probation report heard Bristow had been offered post-sentence supervision and was complying with the order, attending the majority of appointments.

Ashfield had attended seven of the 23 appointments he was asked to attend, had yet to complete any of the 100 hours unpaid work ordered from a previous sentence, but was willing to work with probation.

Magistrates fined Ashfield and Bristow £50 each, while both must pay £85 court costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Both must continue working on their existing orders.

Chair of magistrates Moira Chapman added: "You came to the city centre looking for safety but the place in North Wales may be safer. A safe home is vital."