Italian beggar banned from Brighton city centre

Posted On 20 May 2010 at 10:34 am

A drunken beggar who has persistently harassed and abused shoppers, tourists and traders in Brighton has been given an ASBO banning him from the city centre.

Claudio Gizzi, (also known as Claude), of Oriental Place, Brighton, has been banned from a huge area of the city, including part of the seafront, The Lanes, North Laine, St James’s Street and a section of Western Road.

The ASBO also covers:

  • using foul or abusive language in a public place
  • begging
  • urinating in a public place
  • selling the Big Issue when not authorised to do so
  • behaving in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress

On Monday, Brighton magistrates heard how the 43-year-old Italian has a long history of harassing and intimidating members of the public.

Mike Tyler, representing Brighton and Hove City Council, told magistrates that Gizzi was a serious nuisance to businesses, individuals and the public in general and already had convictions for persistent begging, criminal damage and failing to hand over alcohol.

Incidents of antisocial behaviour included, aggressive and persistent begging, urinating in doorways, spitting, shouting and swearing.

One business owner reported Gizzi trying to smash the windows of his shop, another reported seeing him harass diners sitting in a beer garden, asking them for money and becoming abusive when they said no.

The court also heard that Gizzi had a history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse and had been offered huge amounts of support, but failed to change his behaviour.

Gizzi appeared in court and agreed to the terms of the ASBO. He was warned that breaking any of the conditions was likely to lead to a prison sentence.

Deputy council leader Dee Simson said: “It is appalling that residents and visitors to our city have been subjected to this abuse and antisocial behaviour.

“Community safety is a high priority for this council and we will do everything we can to ensure that those visiting Brighton and Hove have an enjoyable, safe and pleasant experience.

“We will not tolerate anti social behaviour of any kind and, through our excellent partnership working, will continue to gather evidence and remove offenders from our streets.”

Lisa Perretta, of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership, said the news of Gizzi’s ASBO would be welcomed by city centre business owners.

“This is an excellent result,” she said. “By working together we have collected evidence that would otherwise have gone undetected.

“We would encourage residents and businesses to continue to report any incidents of antisocial behaviour so we can we can take steps to bring those responsible before the courts.”

The prosecution is a result of business owners working with the Brighton and Hove Business Crime Reduction Partnership, the city council, Business Improvement District security and Sussex Police to gather evidence and take action over the past few months.

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