The court heard that begging was a major problem in Nottingham and a police operation was set up to combat it. Craig Atkinson, 36, was arrested and pleaded guilty to begging but said the cash went on his two children.
The beggar told a court his income would drop if he took “a regular job.”
“If I got a proper regular job, I would get less money than I am doing this. “People give me money. There are no victims. “Other people sustain a £200 drug habit but mine goes to my two teenage children.”
He told Nottingham Magistrates Court on Tuesday that he is homeless but went on:
“I have got a few roofs. The problem in my life is I will not be in one place.”
He was given a six-month conditional discharge with a £15 government surcharge.
He said: “I can pay that for you now.”
But when magistrates also ordered £85 prosecution costs he replied:
“Please send me to prison. I have no intention of paying it.”
Margaret Martin, prosecuting, said: “He said he makes more with this than with a job.”