A HOMELESS man has been fined £220 for aggressive begging and shouting at Sainsbury’s staff when told he was 5p short for a pack of cigarette papers.

Haydn Roach, 26, failed to attend his hearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Thursday (January 9) and the case was dealt with in his absence.

Sarah Egan, prosecuting, said a police officer had been called to the area of The Cross in the city centre at around 9.15am on November 11 last year.

There had been reports of a disturbance at Sainsbury’s Local on Watergate Street as well as of a man aggressively begging in the shop doorway.

A manager at the supermarket described how a man had been heard shouting a swearing when he was told he could not afford Rizla papers.

He exclaimed it was “ridiculous” when a staff member told him he could not take the cigarette papers because he was 5p short.

CCTV camera operators directed the officer towards Roach who was arrested, hand-cuffed and taken into custody. He was later charged with using threatening behaviour and begging in a public place.

Magistrates found the case proved in the defendant’s absence.

It emerged Roach, whose address was given as the Hamilton House homeless hub, has 15 previous convictions for 21 offences.

He was fined £220 and must also pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge, which goes into a national pot to support victims of crime.