Homeless man wants to be jailed

PUBLISHED: 15:25 01 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

HOMELESS Mark Dando was so desperate to go to jail that he smashed a window at Ely courthouse last week. And he got his wish - he was held in custody for one night and brought before city magistrates on Thursday, when he was remanded in custody for a furt

HOMELESS Mark Dando was so desperate to go to jail that he smashed a window at Ely courthouse last week.

And he got his wish - he was held in custody for one night and brought before city magistrates on Thursday, when he was remanded in custody for a further fortnight.

"He threw a rock at the front of the building, and then went straight around to the police station to tell them about it," the court was told by prosecutor Delia Matthews on Thursday.

"He had nowhere to go, and has mental health problems. He says he can only get the help he needs in prison, and told police that if he did not go into custody, he would keep on offending."

The court heard that 33-year-old Dando was on bail to Leicester Crown Court, where he is due to face a charge of arson on February 8.

He admitted criminal damage and breaching his bail by failing to turn up for a psychiatric assessment.

"It is clear that he had breached a condition of his bail, so you can remove his liberty at this time," said solicitor Jacqui Baldwin. "He accepts his guilt in relation to the criminal damage. He has no where to live, and feels safe in custody, he has an ordered lifestyle there, and gets the help he requires."

In the past Dando had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but was no longer subject to that provision.

"If he is released, he is concerned he will do something more serious to ensure he is sent to prison, and I have warned against that," added Miss Baldwin.

Dando was fined £50 for breaking the window, and given a one-day sentence in lieu of payment. He was remanded in custody until his appearance at Leicester Crown Court.

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