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Court order a waste of time
Value questioned: Labor's John Quigley doubts the effectiveness of PBOs issued to homeless people. Picture: The West Australian

A magistrate has branded the State's attempt to slap a prohibited behaviour order on a homeless man who fell asleep in court as a "waste of time and paper" because the itinerant would simply ignore it.

Paul Heaney said there was no chance the Aboriginal drifter would observe a PBO banning him from areas in the CBD under threat of jail or a $6000 fine, noting he "wouldn't have six cents on him".

Ricky Louis Indich - revealed by The West Australian yesterday to have received 463 move-on notices since 2006 - was the subject of a separate PBO application by the State Solicitor's Office in May, court transcripts reveal.

Mr Heaney said a PBO would "just create another offence for Mr Indich to commit" to go with multiple convictions for failing to obey police or attend court and breaching bail and move-on notices.

"Mr Indich's situation is the very situation that makes these PBOs completely irrelevant to him," Mr Heaney said, halting proceedings at one point so the transcript could note the defendant was "asleep on the bench, snoring".

When SSO lawyer Ilse Petersen argued it was speculation to conclude a PBO would not improve Mr Indich's behaviour and prevent him from visiting parts of the CBD, where he lived, Mr Heaney was emphatic.

"You can put your money on it," he said. "It's silly to expect Mr Indich to be taking this map around with him everywhere he goes and that he can go in Wellington street, he can't walk up and down Barrack Street." The SSO withdrew the application after accepting Mr Indich, a solvent-abusing alcoholic, may not have understood the proceedings.

PBOs, which ban repeat antisocial offenders from certain areas and activities and publish recipients' details on a website, have grown from nine last December to 34.

They can be sought after two or more "trigger" offences within three years, which for Mr Indich were swearing at police moving him on from a park with a soup kitchen and failing to obey a police order in 2012.

The number of PBOs and move-on notices recorded against Aboriginals during the past two years outnumber all other nationalities combined.

Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said three WA Police and four SSO staff were working full-time on PBOs when "all they do is make criminals out of nuisances".

Attorney-General Michael Mischin said he had sought a briefing from the SSO on the circumstances of the application against Mr Indich.