Teen yob banned from town centre

A BABY-FACED tearaway has been banned from Weston town centre after carrying out a series of thefts and intimidation as part of a gang.

North Somerset Courthouse slapped 17-year-old Aaron Francis with a two-year antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) after magistrates were told of his nuisance behaviour.

The order means Francis is barred from entering the town centre, and also forbidden from being in the company of 13 known associates, aged 15-21.

Police applied for the order after losing patience with the teenager, who has caused misery and fear among town centre shop workers.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s antisocial behaviour officer Emma Grant said the order would be welcomed by those who work in Weston’s shops.

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She told the Mercury: “Aaron Francis would regularly intimidate shop staff and passers-by in the town centre.

“He has also been involved in a number of other incidents, including theft and burglary.

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“ASBOs are a really useful tool for us. It is a criminal offence to breach the agreed conditions, and those who do will be arrested and could face imprisonment.”

The area which is out-of-bounds for Francis runs from the top of Grove Park in the north, to Oxford Street in the south, and from the seafront in the east to Alfred Street in the west.

Magistrates agreed to the ASBO after hearing how Francis has failed to abide by previous court orders.

Town centre beat manager PC Phil Rudden said officers have been briefed to keep a look-out for Francis, and said he could face severe sanctions if spotted breaching the order.

He said: “The neighbourhood policing team will be keeping their eyes open for this individual. If he’s seen anywhere in the town centre he will be in breach of his ASBO and could get a fine of up to �5,000 or even imprisonment.

“We are determined to ensure the town centre is a safe place to live, work and socialise.

“Tackling antisocial behaviour is a priority in North Somerset, so if you have concerns in your area, please call us on our new non-emergency telephone number 101.”

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