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.