A MAN who defecated on a dead hedgehog in the street in the middle of the day coolly gave the arresting officer his reason.
“When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go,” said Victor Ford.
The 34-year-old was squatting over the grass verge with his jeans around his knees when a police officer drove along Balmoral Avenue, Spalding, at 1.20pm on July 3.
Deborah Cartwright, prosecuting at court, said the officer stopped his patrol car and walked over to Ford, who was standing up and pulling up his jeans.
The officer looked at the ground where Ford had been squatting and saw “fresh human faeces on top of a dead hedgehog”.
Miss Cartwright said the officer saw a woman at the window in a house nearby, who would have had a clear view, and a woman walking towards him pushing a child in a pram and she would also have been in a position to see.
Ford, formerly of Spalding’s Gamlyn Close, pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing to a charge of outraging public decency by defecating in the street. But he changed his plea to guilty on Thursday when the Crown Prosecution Service offered a lesser public order charge.
Solicitor Anita Toal, mitigating, told the court: “He doesn’t have any recollection of events on that day due to the amount he had been drinking.”
She said Ford had significant problems with alcohol, significant problems with his mental health and described him as a paranoid schizophrenic.
She said Ford was on income support and disability living allowance.
Mrs Toal said Ford is subject to a suspended prison sentence but it would be “wholly inappropriate” to activate it for this latest offence.
District Judge John Stobart fined Ford £100 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
He told Ford: “If you ever find yourself in this situation again you go out of sight.”
Mr Stobart said the charge was brought because the incident happened in an open public space.
He said: “If there is any more behaviour like this, the courts won’t treat it as an oddity – they will treat it as very serious.”
Rather than activate Ford’s suspended sentence, Mr Stobart decided to “make it more onerous” by barring him from going to Scotland for three days. He explained to Ford that he had to do something to make the prison order worse because he did not want to activate the sentence.
The judge said: “It sounds stupid and it is stupid.”
Ford, of Middlecott Close, Boston, appeared at Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
So why the victim surcharge this time?
EVEN though the main victim in this case was a dead hedgehog, all fines for criminal offences carry an additional £15 victim surcharge.
Money is paid into a fund aimed at improving services for victims of crime. It was introduced in 2004 to “rebalance” the criminal justice system in favour of victims.