Bolsover man handed himself into police after smashing window

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A hungry benefits “protester” smashed a window at Bolsover Jobcentre and then handed himself in to police - asking them to feed him.

Officers saw Brian Coleman (44) laying on the bonnet of a police car smoking a cigarette on the night of 8th August.

“He was asked what he was doing and he replied: ‘Take me in for breakfast pal - I’m hungry’,” John Cooper, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates.

“He was told to get off the car and he did this and said: ‘I’ve smashed a window at the back of the Jobcentre. That’s why I was waiting here for you. I want some food’.”

Mr Cooper said Coleman had broken a concrete slab into pieces and thrown lumps of it through a 4ft-square window.

“He said in interview he had recently had his benefits reduced, causing him hardship and stress. Because he was fed-up with the system he decided to take it out on the Jobcentre.

“He then went to the police station and sat on a car. He said it was a protest and a matter of pride,” added Mr Cooper.

Coleman, of Nether Springs Road, Bolsover, admitted damaging property and was ordered to pay £228 compensation, with £85 costs.

“You may have been frustrated but you can’t do that,” presiding magistrate David Sobczak told him.

Bob Sowter, for Coleman, said: “It was a protest on the spur of the moment. His employment and support allowance was suspended and going through a tribunal.

“He was frustrated at the choices he was having to make - either paying his bills or eating - and he didn’t want to get further into debt.”

Mr Sowter added: “Rather bizarrely, I would ask for him to be given credit for waiting for the police to arrest him. He regrets the offence.”