Asbo kid's luck runs out

TEENAGE tearaway Mark Stagg's luck has finally run out today as he is at last behind bars.Ipswich magistrates have locked up the 18-year-old prolific offender for six months for flouting the law less than four weeks after he narrowly avoided being sent down.

TEENAGE tearaway Mark Stagg's luck has finally run out today as he is at last behind bars.

Ipswich magistrates have locked up the 18-year-old prolific offender for six months for flouting the law less than four weeks after he narrowly avoided being sent down.

The Evening Star reported last month that he had been spared prison despite breaking the terms of an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) while on a suspended sentence.

And that was just the latest in a line of lucky escapes for the troublemaker, who has 22 previous convictions for 44 offences and kept being told by magistrates that he had one last chance to behave.

South East Suffolk Magistrates, chaired by Dawn Girling, sitting in Ipswich sentenced Stagg to 28 weeks in a young offenders institution.

The latest breach by Stagg, of Willow Cottage, Bredfield, comes after he was seen at the Turban Centre car park in Woodbridge this month - an area which is Asbo bans him from.

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He then failed to answer bail and surrender to custody at the town's police station.

Prosecuting, Gareth Davies said: “A police officer spoke to Stagg and put him in the rear of a police vehicle to confirm his identity. “Stagg opened the door and tried to run away and he was arrested.

“When interviewed he was obstructive and argumentative, refused to answer questions and generally commented he couldn't understand why he couldn't go to the area because it's where his friends hang around.”

Mitigating, Mark Holt said: “The Asbo prevents him going into areas where young people ordinarily congregate.

“He's clearly found it hard to comply with the terms as he's a young man and needs his friends.

“The breaches have been on the basis he's been found in the places, without exception there's never been any offence committed, it's merely his presence.”

Sentencing for the offences, to which Stagg pleaded guilty, Mrs Girling said: “You [Stagg] have repeatedly breached your Asbo and custody is inevitable for you.”

N Do you think Asbos deter criminals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

April 2005: Given Asbo ordering him not to go to certain parts of Woodbridge or drink in public after being suspected of being the ringleader behind a string of crimes in the town.

April 2005: The following day he breaks it and is sentenced to four months' custody in a young offenders' institution. The court agreed to a request from The Evening Star to lift reporting restrictions on the then 17-year-old so we could name and shame him.

July 2005: Asbo broken on numerous occasions and Stagg was given a community order

September 8, 2006: Magistrates give him another chance when he breaks it AGAIN.

September 13, 2006: Community order is revoked and, rather than sending him to jail, magistrates opted to give him a 12-week suspended sentence and ordered him to do 40 hours of unpaid community work. He was told “this is your last chance”.

September 21, 2006: Stagg was spotted “staggering around plainly drunk” and breaking the terms of his Asbo on September 15. He was spared prison because District Judge David Cooper said although Stagg had been seen with the can and drunk, nobody actually saw him drinking - by the same judge who told him previously “I don't think I should give you another chance - you've had too many.”

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