Sonata Moyinwin, 43, who already has 79 convictions for dishonesty was jailed for eight months and Amy Pidgley, 20 was given an eight month prison term suspended for 12 months with a supervision order.

Southwark Crown Court heard how they drove to the West End pubs in a top-of-the-range BMW and implored drinkers to “please help the homeless”.

Such examples are likely to contribute to the growing and understandable reticence of the public to give money to street collectors, whatever identification they can provide.

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