A MAN who harassed shoppers by trying to sell them stolen goods in Swindon town centre has been handed an interim Asbo.

Ian Pounds, pictured, of Amethyst Guest House in Sheppard Street, Swindon, stole CDs, jewellery and watches from shops and sometimes took items that had been left in skips behind charity shops before “hawking” them around the town centre, Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard.

Francis Maples, representing Swindon Council, said the 38-year-old had been referred to Swindon Police on 73 occasions since December 31, 2007.

A witness statement from PCSO Nicola Gibbs said Pounds had come to the attention of police for a variety of offences including theft and attempted theft.

She added that Pounds had also been reported for begging in the town centre and that on occasions he became very aggressive, which upset many members of the public.

Evidence was also read out from PC Ashley Jones, who reported catching Pounds with a model car in a box.

“When I asked him where he got it, he said he found it in a skip behind the charity shop,” said PC Jones.

“He said he could sell it and use the money in the bookmakers.”

The court also heard that Pounds would try to sell stolen items in pubs and that he stole sunglasses from Specsavers in the town centre.

Charlotte Page, store manager of the Body Shop in the town centre, described in a statement how Pounds would upset customers by getting very close to them, invading their personal space.

She reported that many customers had found his presence “frightening” and that Pounds had often become aggressive.

Pounds’ harassment not only extended to shoppers, the court heard.

Jonathan Gale, of British Transport Police, said in a statement that Pounds had been caught trying to sell goods to taxi drivers in the rank outside Swindon train station.

Pounds failed to turn up for the hearing and did not instruct any legal representation.

Chairman of the bench Ken Price imposed a two-week interim Asbo banning Pounds from the town centre until July 13.

Pounds has also been ordered to return to court on July 10 for a review of the order.