A former homeless man threatened to “smack” a council worker who was dealing with rough sleepers in Mansfield marketplace because he felt sorry for them, a court heard.
Lee Walters became enraged when he saw the officer issue notices about anti-social behaviour, on March 6, and said: “Who do you think you are? I will smack your jaw.”
Members of the public were scared by Walters’ threats, said prosecutor Karen Hartley, and two police community support officers corroborated the council worker’s story.
Walters, 36, of Rosemary Street, Mansfield, admitted using threatening words when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.
The offence breached a 12 month community order imposed in February for theft.
Bill Soughton, mitigating, said: “He walked straight away. He immediately regretted it.”
Probation officer Cheryl Nisbet said: “He has been in that situation and he felt sorry for them. It is a pattern of behaving of thinking without considering the consequences.”
District judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “I, like you, feel sorry for people who are homeless and they deserve some sympathy and understanding.
“This is a serious matter. It’s a threat to a council official doing his duty. This court will protect public officials doing their duty.”
He gave Walters ten weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to go on a thinking skills programme for up to 30 days with the probation service.
No costs were awarded, but Walters must pay a £115 government surcharge.