A HOMELESS man who doused himself in deodorant and threatened to set himself on fire at Newport Police Station asked to be sent to prison — as he had nowhere else to go.

Ryan Bentley, 23, of no fixed abode, previously appeared at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court on August 23, where he admitted one count of using threatening words and behaviour and two counts of assaulting a police officer.

He appeared before the bench again last Tuesday, when he was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison.

The court heard Bentley went to the police station on August 22 to complain a houseboat he had arranged to live on had left Newport Harbour. The owner of the boat had also taken Bentley's possessions, which were inside.

After police said they were unable to help, as it was a civil matter, Bentley left.

He returned shortly afterwards, doused in deodorant, holding a lighter and threatening to set himself on fire.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said: "He told police he had been beaten, evicted, had his property stolen and was ignored by people who were supposed to help him.

"He was pushed to the ground by officers and placed in handcuffs. He began to spit at one officer and kicked another in the abdomen."

Bentley, who did not abuse drugs or alcohol, said he wanted to be sent to prison after repeatedly trying to find somewhere to live.

Barry Arnett, defending, said: "Mr Bentley is a man who has reached rock bottom.

"He has sought housing, he has sought help. But, because he isn't from the Island, the authorities seem to say he isn't their problem — especially when it comes to housing.

"He's a young, single man who just doesn't score very highly on the scoreboard of who gets help from the government.

"He wants to go to prison. If he were to be released today, he would head to County Hall with a sledgehammer and start doing damage."

Presiding magistrate Gordon Cooper said: "Irrespective of your situation, you cannot keep blaming others."

Bentley, who was clutching a bible throughout the hearing, interrupted, and said: "I have tried everyone. I do not appreciate that comment as I have tried everything to get help."

In addition to 20 weeks' imprisonment, Betley was ordered to pay costs of £85.

Mr Cooper said: "The only route we can take here is an immediate custodial sentence. This decision had nothing to do with your request to be imprisoned."

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