ASBOs for ‘gang’ brothers
PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 January 2011
TWO young teenage brothers who police branded as the ‘ringleaders’ of a Weston street gang have been slapped with Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).
Joshua and Damien Parker-Stokes, aged 15 and 14, were made the subjects of two-year ASBOs after magistrates were told of their behaviour over the summer months of 2010 on the Bournville estate.
The Mercury can today reveal the names and photographs of the boys after successfully challenging an application in court which would have prevented us from publishing their identities.
However further reporting restrictions means we have been banned from revealing the exact details of why the ASBO applications were made against the youths.
The boys, of Argyle Avenue, are currently living out of the area but could return to the estate in the near future – and the orders have been imposed to stop them from committing further antisocial behaviour when they come back to Weston.
They appeared at North Somerset Courthouse on January 5 where magistrates heard more than four hours of prosecution and defence evidence before making their decision.
Sergeant Shane Hawkings, of South Ward Neighbourhood Policing Team, told the court that the brothers were the leaders of a ‘gang’ on the Bournville estate, which was active for around four months last summer.
He said the police had to set up a special operation called ‘Jetivator’ which specifically targeted the gang, made up of five main people and other peripheral members.
Sgt Hawkings said this had been the ‘most long-term problem to date and most labour intensive’.
The court heard that Joshua had lived away from Weston for a couple of years and returned to the Bournville in February 2010, shortly before his behaviour was noticed by the police.
But Joshua told magistrates that in the past few months he has realised the consequences of his actions and is in the process of signing up to the army to ‘make himself a man’.
The court also heard that Damien was expelled from his school in November 2009 and had not received any school education since this time. He told magistrates: “Because I was bored I started using my energy for bad things and not good things.”
But he added in the past few months he was ‘getting pretty good’ and wanted a ‘fresh start’.
Siobhan Heron, prosecuting, said that the ASBOs were necessary and described the behaviour of the boys as ‘prolific’.
Charles Hart, defending, told the court that the situation had changed since the ASBO application was made and said the need for this type of order was no longer there.
However, after an hour of deliberation, magistrates told the brothers that their behaviour had ‘escalated’ in the past year and the orders would be imposed, being reviewed in a year’s time.
Following the hearing Sgt Hawkings said: “We are delighted with the result as I am sure are the local community, who have had to suffer the consequences of the brothers’ behaviour.”
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