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Woman, 74, gets Asbo for begging in Cardiff

A 74-year-old woman has been given an Asbo for harassing shoppers with her begging.

Police said Agripina Gheorge, of no fixed abode, often approached people in Cardiff handing out a note saying she needed money to buy nappies and milk for her babies.

Following a string of complaints from shopkeepers, officers charged the septuagenarian with a public order offence - later resulting in her being given an Asbo by magistrates.

The three-year order bans her from begging anywhere within the Welsh capital and also entering the city centre between 8am and 8pm.

Acting Sergeant Geraint White said Gheorge's Asbo was the fourth police had obtained on beggars in Cardiff in recent months.

"We continue to ensure those visiting, working or living in the city centre can do so free from being harassed by beggars," he added.

"Those made subject of Asbos have been provided with opportunities to engage with services that can help, but unfortunately they have continued to beg.

"Anti-social behaviour orders give individuals an opportunity to abide by the conditions and to change their behaviour."

Mr White added that should Gheorge breach her Asbo she could be jailed, fined, or both.

Cardiff Council deputy leader Judith Woodman welcomed Gheorge's conviction, saying people had the right to go about their business without being harassed in a distressing manner.

She said: "Cardiff has a vibrant city centre to be proud of and attracts significant amounts of visitors every year.

"It is unacceptable for people to behave in this manner and I'm pleased a partnership approach involving Cardiff Council, South Wales Police and the CPS has led to this individual being banned from begging and entering the city centre at times when she can become a nuisance to others."