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WHY THE ASBO IS NOW IN THE DOCK; Controversial order failed to curb the yobbish exploits of young troublemakers who went on to more serious crimes.

Byline: JOE THOMAS Crime Reporter joe.thomas@trinitymirror.com @joe_thomas18

ANTI-SOCIAL Behaviour Orders regularly hit the headlines as they were dished out to unruly yobs who caused fear and frustration in communities across Merseyside.

After coming into force in 1999, they were a handy tool for police and local authorities in their battle against troublemakers who were ruining lives, without their actions necessarily crossing the criminal threshold.

The legislation under which they were introduced allowed courts to ban them from certain areas and stop them hanging around in public with associates.

For the 15 years they were available, they sparked debate over whether they pushed nuisance teens away from a life of crime or simply delayed that development by giving thugs leniency they may not have deserved.

ASBOs were replaced in 2014, but the growth of many of their subjects into adults now allows the opportunity to see how useful they were.

And a series of high-profile cases, over the past 18 months, have highlighted cases where the orders failed to turn their subjects onto the straight and narrow.

Here, the ECHO takes a look at five cases that suggest the controversial ASBO failed to curb the yobbish exploits of young troublemakers*.

| LUKE DUFFY Luke Duffy had a "chaotic" childhood that included 30 different foster placements after being neglected by his mum due to her deteriorating mental health and substance misuse.

His first conviction came from an offence committed when he was just 11 - when he assaulted police, escaped from custody, destroyed property and got into a fight - charged as affray.

Both he and his brother were handed ASBOs in 2009, with Luke enduring stints in Young Offenders' Institutions for breaching that and other court orders.

Now 24, a recent court hearing was told he believed he had spent no more than six months free in the last 13 years.

That hearing led to him being jailed for 12 years, with an extended three years on licence, after admitting a series of gun and knifepoint raids The prolific burglar, once banned from parts of Liverpool city centre, threatened to "shred" a motorist after nearly crashing into his car, declaring: "Don't f***ing beep at me, I drive where I f***ing like".

He then went on to rob two students before pointing a fake gun at two female shop assistants, leaving them "traumatised".

| LUKE KENDRICK Kendrick was one of seven teenagers given interim ASBOs in 2008, after being accused of causing chaos in Garston.

Then 18, he was banned from causing racial harassment, alarm or distress across Liverpool, being involved in bouts of public disorder in Garston, hanging around with other selected associates and told he could not enter parts of the community.

Last year, then 26, he was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years, after being convicted over the shotgun execution of 18-yearold Vinny Waddington. Vinny was killed when a single shot was fired from the driver's window of Kendrick's Audi A3 car in Banks Road, Garston, after he was knocked off his scrambler bike.

Defending Kendrick at the murder sentencing, Charles Miskin, QC, said his client had a "shockingly poor childhood" with "a long and complex history of trauma, substance abuse and disorder".

He suggested Kendrick's personality traits "disrupt all areas of his life".

|RHYS NZE In December last year, Nze was handed three years and four months' detention in a Young Offenders' Institution after admitting wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

This related to a violent attack that saw one woman slashed with a knife and another kicked in the face in a park in Mold, North Wales.

Nze, then 18, and of Canning Street, had travelled with another teen from the Merseyside area "intent on no good" when they were approached by their victims in a row over damage caused to a parked car.

This was not his first dealings with the law.

Back in April, 2014, he was one of 10 boys targeted with ASBOs by police for yobbish behaviour that brought a flood of complaints from residents and businesses in the Granby area and Lodge Lane area of Toxteth.

Liverpool Magistrates' Court heard how the gang subjected decent people "to all manner of anti-social behaviour, crime and intimidation" over a 12-month period.

Their antics included violence, abusive language and riding unlicensed scrambler bikes.

Then 15, Nze was banned from a swathe of Toxteth as a result of the ASBO.

| JAMES MOORE In a much older, but no less shocking, case Moore was jailed in 2010 after he admitted the murder of promising Army cadet Joseph Lappin.

Just 16 when he stabbed the completely innocent Joseph, after chasing him around an Everton youth club, Liverpool Crown Court was told he was a persistent ASBO yob who was shown "remarkable leniency" before the devastating attack.

It was claimed he had committed crimes on a "monthly basis" and had broken every court order imposed on him.

That included an ASBO and supervision order he was subjected to when he killed Joseph in 2008.

Trial Judge Mr Justice Henriques said Moore, who was just 15 when the ASBO was imposed, in October, 2007, had more than 45 breaches to his name.

He said: "It does demonstrate he has committed crimes on a monthly basis.

"I don't think there was a single month he was not before some court or other."

Michael Shorrock, QC, defending, insisted many of Moore's crimes were low-level breaches, such as associating with people named in his ASBO.

But Mr Justice Henriques said: "I think it is more serious than that. He has put windows through, he drove a couple to leave their home because they were persistently harassed and threatened."

Mr Shorrock went onto detail Moore's "disadvantaged background" and the care he had given towards his younger brother, who has cerebral palsy.

But Mr Justice Henriques said: "His profound family difficulties and the care shown for his brother may have contributed to the remarkable leniency that has been shown by the courts."

Opening the case, Neil Flewitt, QC, told how it was a "striking feature" of the case that Moore, of Silvester Street, Vauxhall, had never been locked up and was still at liberty, despite repeatedly breaching all court orders, to carry out the fatal stabbing.

He told the court how Joseph was killed by "sheer chance" after being confronted by an "angry and armed mob".

Moore was jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

| STEPHEN GEE Stephen Gee was recently jailed after he robbed a vulnerable 77-year-old.

The 35-year-old, of Maryport Close, Everton, admitted robbing the elderly man's car keys and car.

As a result, he was jailed for six years and eight months, with an extended four years on licence.

The robbery was the latest stop in a criminal career that included convictions for violence, assault, public disorder, theft and criminal damage. The drug addict was handed his ASBO in July, 2009, with the order banning him from several parts of north Liverpool.

Just weeks later, he carried out two "mean" burglaries, for which he was jailed for 33 months, in February, 2010.

Gee took advantage of two women while they were distracted working in shops by stealing their purses.

After the second raid, he was chased by police and jumped from a flyover, but was tracked down by a force helicopter.

Desmond Lennon, defending, said Gee had been homeless and desperate at the time and suffered from acute dyslexia. He was released on licence, but then went on the run and was returned to jail in June, 2011, after stealing from a car.

His latest conviction saw him punch the OAP twice in the face, then kick and stamp on him while he screamed for help.

This came after he pretended to be a council worker and attempted to fine his victim PS1,000, after he caught him kerbcrawling.

* A second article examining the use of ASBOs, and whether these cases suggest they were a success or not, will follow.

CAPTION(S):

Luke Kendrick, at 18, was given an ASBO in 2008

Luke Duffy, 24, received a total sentence of 12 years at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting a series of gun and knifepoint raids

Rhys Nze, 18, of Canning Street, Liverpool, received three years and four months' detention, after admitting wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm

Luke Kendrick, 26 - found guilty of the murder of Garston teenager Vinny Waddington last year and jailed for life

James Moore, then 17, who in 2010 was jailed for the murder of innocent Army cadet Joseph Lappin, in Everton

Stephen Gee, 36, of Maryport Close, Everton, was recently jailed for six years and eight months, with an extended four years, on licence after admitting robbery
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 31, 2017
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