Saturday, February 09, 2013

Unemployed man dumped 20lbs of dog mess at job centre in dole money row

Unemployed Simon Bonnell dumped 20lbs of dog dirt in a job centre after a row over his dole money. The 21-year-old staged the 'dirty protest' in anger at the way staff at Hanley's Job Centre Plus treated him after he was 10 minutes late for an appointment to sign on. Bonnell has now been banned from the Huntbach Street building for three months – meaning he is to lose out on £600 in jobseekers' allowance.

But he insists  he has no regrets about what he did. Bonnell said: "The staff spoke to me like I was dirt and said they would stop my money. I was angry when I was on the telephone but there was a baby next to me and so I didn't swear. Looking back I was glad I did what I did at the time. I just felt so mad. I just want to get a job as I don't want to be on the dole." Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice centre heard Bonnell arrived late for the appointment on December 6 and was told he would need to speak to an adviser over the telephone.

The defendant, who owns a Rottweiler and a Dalmatian, then went back home to Berry Hill where he filled a bin liner with dog mess before returning to the centre and dumping the contents in the foyer. Bonnell, who collected around 20 lbs of dog mess even had to stop half way to have a rest because of the weight. Simon Oldham, defending, said: "It was an extremely silly incident and the defendant accepts it was a stupid thing to do and is extremely sorry. He apologises to both the job centre and the court.

"He went to sign on and was late so he had to have a telephone interview and was upset by how he was treated. He accepts this was no way to deal with it." Bonnell, of Ashfield Square, was arrested shortly after the incident after staff identified him from CCTV footage. He pleaded guilty to criminal damage. As well as not being able to claim jobseekers' allowance for three months, Bonnell was fined £200 and ordered to pay £63.60 to cover the cost of industrially cleaning the carpet. The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed Bonnell would be eligible to re-register with the Job Centre in March.


Ratz said...

When I lost my job and had to sign on, I dressed up a bit thinking "well, I'm trying to get them to give me money, I'd better make some effort.." oh man was that a mistake. I stuck out like a sore thumb. This was in Corporation St in Belfast mind.. where the seats were screwed to the floor, there were people passed out in the corridors and you had to bellow to make yourself heard trough the bulletproof glass.

Normally you have to prove you've looked for 2-3 jobs a week. When I finally handed over my details the clerk looked at them, looked at them again, asked if it was correct and said "Err.. well Dr. Ratz, shall we just say you need to have looked for a job once a month?" I think we all knew I didn't want to be there.

arbroath said...

They employ thuggish security guards now.

And people are required to apply for up to 35 jobs a week.

And prove they have to prove they are spending five hours every day searching for jobs that simply don't exist.

And. And. And ... I could go on.

Otherwise people are hit with ridiculously punitive 'sanctions'.

Now is not a good time to be a jobseeker.

Ratz said...

Admittedly this was three years ago, but to be honest, the last time I was in a dole office, it was my fellow clients who were the thugs rather than the guards. The guards were sufficiently obese and geriatric that I was left unnerved when someone managed to rip a seat from the floor and started bashing it against the glass.. and the guards did nothing.

As this was going on I was left wondering if my CPR was up to date enough to help the one guard I thought was going to collapse on the spot rather than subdue the guy who was obviously off his rocker.

I'm in no way saying the government hasn't made things worse, but that's what they do, isn't it?

arbroath said...

Iain Duncan Smith has a lot to answer for.

I don't think I've ever hated a politician so much as that vile individual.

A while back I had the misfortune to sit in on a session of people who were obviously mentally ill, but had been found 'fit for work' by his amazingly unfit-for-purpose ATOS test.

It was like something from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

On another occasion, a bright young guy with two chemistry degrees was told by the evangelical pillock 'helping' him back to work that he had the 'wrong qualifications' for today's workplace.

The young guy politely replied that they were if you wanted to be a chemist.

He was sanctioned and had all his money stopped for a month.

What is happening out there is nothing short of a f*cking disgrace.