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‘I asked to go to jail, rather than stay homeless’


Bradley Grimes

Image caption

Bradley’s anti-social behaviour order prevents him from “loitering” near businesses

Banned from begging and drowsing in shop doorways in Middlesbrough, Bradley Grimes asked the judge in courtroom to ship him to prison somewhat than depart him homeless. What effect did it have?

“All they’ve performed is placed an anti-social behaviour order on me to try and prevent me from begging. But I Have to so as to survive,” Bradley Grimes tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

He become homeless after leaving the care device aged 17.

With autism and, in his own words, the psychological age of a “younger child”, he was unable to search out work and regularly turned to begging – asking passers-Through for meals and cash in conjunction with a busy boulevard.

However this resulted in Middlesbrough Council giving him an anti-social behaviour order, or Asbo.

It came with a situation banning him from “loitering” outdoor trade premises.

Bradley says it averted him from “basically sitting out of doors a store” and slumbering in doorways for heat, and supposed he was regularly arrested.

“CCTV picks you up they usually dispatch both the police or boulevard wardens. If police come, you might be arrested,” explains Bradley, who’s now 23.

He says he attracted the authorities’ consideration for sitting rested towards a bus stop.

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Bradley says he was as soon as arrested Whereas sitting rested against this bus stop

“It received to the stage the place they had been locking me up once or twice a day, for a period of a few months.

“I was once in [prison] just about all weekend, close to sufficient each weekend.

“I Will’t even take a seat on a public bench without being locked up. I’ve to maintain transferring.”

Frustrated at his situation, he determined to seek assist – albeit in an abnormal kind.

When in court, charged with breaching a four-month suspended detention center sentence – one thing he admitted to doing – he asked the decide to ship him to prison.

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That Is the place Bradley says he continuously used to sleep, just off the side of a busy highway

He hoped it would pave learn how to him being discovered appropriate accommodation.

“That’s The remaining option I had, that I may recall to mind,” he explains.

The judge was sympathetic, and used to be stated in October this year as announcing that “primarily we are locking up a homeless man for being homeless.

“I Need him housed somewhere in order that his welfare can also be taken care of.

“It Is Not good enough for the authorities to show around and say that it’s any individual else’s downside.

“If I had been to help you go lately the probabilities are that you’d be sitting on a seat or dozing in a shop doorway and you’re going to be locked up once more.”

Via November, Bradley used to be released – with supported accommodation made available.

He had lived in the same building in the past, However says he was once advised to go away after hashish used to be present in his room.

Bradley has also had issues with Category A Medication, which he says he used “to take the pain away”.

This time he says he is decided to reside easy, and has avoided drugs when you consider that his free up.

‘Not Possible to manage’

Bradley says existence can still be tricky. If Truth Be Told, he believes that because of his autism, it was once simpler in jail.

“You do not need to worry about anything else in [jail].

“[Whereas on the outside] it’s Unattainable for me to cope by myself, because I Am bad with issues like price range and money.”

When Bradley left jail in Durham, he had just £17 to his identify – most of which he used for the educate journey again to Middlesbrough.

He has now utilized for benefits, which he’s waiting to receive, But says his lack of funds over time has had a big impression on his health.

Bradley has a brain tumour – and suffers with epilepsy and a heart murmur – But says he cannot afford to shuttle to the expert most cancers centre in Newcastle for remedy.

Picture copyright
Getty Photography

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More Than Four,000 individuals slept tough in England in 2016, govt figures counsel. The charity Obstacle says this is a important underestimate.

He says his story will have been completely different had he been supported sufficiently By the local authority when he first became homeless.

As An Alternative, he claims he used to be despatched from one agency to another.

Middlesbrough Council has now not yet responded to request for comment.

While strolling round town Bradley spots a chum, a homeless man named Tony who says he can not get any help at all.

Tony says he has to steal from drug dealers to come up with the money for to survive.

It’s Not one thing Bradley condones, but the desperation behind the act is something he says he is familiar with.

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.



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