A SANDOWN man who was collecting for his grandfather's funeral has appeared in court after being arrested by police and charged with begging and breaching Covid-19 regulations.

Kieron Miles, 32, of Fort Street, admitted one count of breaching coronavirus regulations but the other charge was dropped by the CPS when it emerged that he was not begging.

The court heard how when he was confronted by police on April 4 in Ryde, officers refused to believe Miles was collecting funds for his grandfather's funeral and seized the donated money.

Speaking for Miles, Barry Arnett, said: "He had a tin with a photo of his grandad on it but the police were sceptical his grandad had died at all.

"They confiscated the tin and Mr Miles unfortunately doesn't know how much was even in there. They have not returned it or said what was done with it.

"Not only did they not believe that Mr Miles was telling the truth, officers even called up his grandmother telling her that her grandson had been telling people that her husband was dead...he was dead.

"You can imagine how that was for her, and she is a key worker at Royal Surrey County Hospital.

"He was not badgering anyone, he was collecting. He does however admit to having breached coronavirus regulations."

Vivian Ducie, prosecuting, said the CPS was satisfied what Miles was doing did not constitute begging and were withdrawing that charge.

The magistrates gave Miles a six-month conditional discharge. He was also ordered to pay costs of £20 and a surcharge of £22.