First criminal ASBO in county

Published: 15 Jan 2009 08:001 comment

A teenager from Prestonpans is the first person in the county to receive a criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) after committing persistent antisocial behaviour.

Steven Moffat, of North Bank Road, was given the ASBO as part of his sentence at Haddington Sheriff Court on Christmas Eve.

The orders are more commonly imposed by a civil court.

The usual practice is for East Lothian Council to apply to the courts for civil ASBOs in cases where all earlier approaches and interventions have failed and legal action is necessary.

Kenneth Black, East Lothian Council"s antisocial behaviour co-ordinator, said: 'Criminal ASBOs are a sentencing option available to the court and the decision to grant one rests entirely with the sentencing Sheriff.

'The effect of criminal ASBOs is the same as civil ASBOs in that they prohibit an individual from behaving in a way that causes alarm and distress to others.'

In March 2005, Scotland"s first "CRASBO" - as it is also known - was issued at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, in the Borders.

Moffat had appeared in Haddington Sheriff Court on December 24 and admitted acting in a racially aggressive manner and assaulting Zafar Chaudry in High Street, Prestonpans, on September 2.

The ASBO prohibits Moffat from possessing alcohol in Prestonpans or acting in an aggressive or threatening manner.

A police spokesman said: 'We welcome the implementation of this criminal ASBO, which is the first of its kind.

'We hope this sends a clear message that antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated.

'And we will look to punish anyone guilty of such behaviour to the fullest extent of the law.'

If Moffat breaches the criminal ASBO he could face six months in prison, a fine, or both.

An ASBO can be imposed on conviction of a person aged 12 or over for an offence which involved antisocial behaviour, if the court is satisfied that the making of an order is necessary to protect others from future behaviour.

It may also be used instead of, or in addition to, any sentence.

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