Northern Ireland

Homeless man's address given as 'living on park bench'

A homeless sex offender who failed to supply an address to police is now to be listed as living on a park bench.

Matei Haidu, 39, appeared in Belfast Magistrates Court charged with failing to notify police with his home address within a reasonable period of time.

The court heard he came to NI last year and became subject to the registration requirements in February.

He was given a suspended two-month prison sentence for breaching notification requirements.

It was accepted by the court that there had been a misunderstanding when he registered as being of no fixed abode after arriving in Northern Ireland.

No details were disclosed of the offence which led to Haidu being put on the sex offenders' register.

Misunderstanding

A Public Prosecution Service representative said he was later arrested because he had not provided police with an address.

She said that while it has been classed as a misunderstanding, it was still a breach.

A defence solicitor told the court his client had been allowed to register as having no fixed abode.

He added that a park bench can be given as a suitable address.

Suspending the two month jail sentence for 12 months, the judge agreed that the circumstances involved a clear misunderstanding.

He said: "He (Haidu) must now register an acceptable address with police. It appears (there is) the possibility of an address that is acceptable, albeit unusual." ends