Police plea is snubbed by court

MAGISTRATES ignored a request by Weston's police chief to control a violent young tearaway. Chief Superintendent Tracy Hayler fears the 14-year-old girl is

MAGISTRATES ignored a request by Weston's police chief to control a violent young tearaway.Chief Superintendent Tracy Hayler fears the 14-year-old girl is growing out of control and personally requested an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) on the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons.After sentencing the girl for carrying knives and destroying property on Wednesday (Oct 25), magistrates at North Somerset Magistrates Court in St Georges said an ASBO was inappropriate.The two female and one male magistrates also turned down a request by Mercury reporter Jack Hunter to name the girl in the public interest. They later confirmed that she is a persistent offender.Chief Supt Hayler said: "I took the unusual step of making representations myself because I've been kept up to date with developments of this case in recent weeks and was very concerned about the escalating level of violence being displayed by this girl."She was becoming a danger to herself and I was hoping the court would see fit to provide additional measures the police can use in order to deal with her before she gets out of hand and hurts herself or others."But Chief Supt Hayler said she was content with the six month detention and training order the girl received and hopes this will get her into order.The girl was in court after being stopped twice by police for carrying a blade, once at 2.10am at Asda on October 12 and again at 1.40am in Beach Road in September.She pleaded guilty to both offences, as well as trashing the door of Tesco Express in Broadway in May, breaching a supervision order, using threatening, abusive or intimidating words or behaviour and failing to surrender.Her mother, herself the subject of a parenting order, was in court to listen to proceedings.In court, prosecutor Karen Grant said the police wanted the ASBO, which would have imposed a night curfew on the girl and ordered her not to harass anyone in Weston, but the Crown had its doubts.She said: "The Crown's view is the order is too wide. It has concerns that she is 14 years old, she's very young and vulnerable."The order is extremely wide, it needs to be enforced and practicable as well. It's up to you if you feel it's appropriate to be imposed. You may think it is not appropriate."We have concerns that the curfew not only imposes responsibilities on her but on her mother too."Defending, Paul Penney said an ASBO was unnecessary because a custodial sentence would reform her.He said the girl was behaving well while remanded in custody, had stopped smoking and taken up chess.Police specialist antisocial behaviour officer Terry Crees told the Weston & Somerset Mercury he was disappointed the ASBO application failed and wants a meeting with prosecutors to talk about the case.The girl is due back in court in December to face charges of intimidating a witness and assault.


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