Asbo young sent to secure unit

A TEENAGE troublemaker is today in a young offenders' institution after flouting the rules of a court order just a day after it was made.Mark Stagg, 17, was given an interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order on Monday after being suspected of being the ringleader behind a string of crimes in Woodbridge.

A TEENAGE troublemaker is today in a young offenders' institution after flouting the rules of a court order just a day after it was made.

Mark Stagg, 17, was given an interim Anti-Social Behaviour Order on Monday after being suspected of being the ringleader behind a string of crimes in Woodbridge.

The order banned Stagg, of Peterhouse Close, Woodbridge, from parts of the town after a recent spate of vandalism.

But just hours after the order was made, Stagg was seen in Elmhurst Park - one of the places he was banned from.

District Judge David Cooper detained the youngster and agreed to a request from The Evening Star to lift reporting restrictions banning his identity being revealed in the hope it would serve as a warning to other teenagers.

Judge Cooper, sitting at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on Wednesday, heard that Stagg had been given the interim Asbo by magistrates on Monday.

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But the next day he was found to be already ignoring the order.

The two-week interim order was made by magistrates in a bid to stop Stagg's bad behaviour and a decision was due to be made on April 18 whether to extend it for two years.

Stagg was banned from entering the Turban Centre, Hamblin Road and Elmhurst Park. He was also told he is not allowed to drink in any public place in England and Wales.

Fearing he may be detained in custody, Stagg asked Judge Cooper to give him one more chance to prove he would take the order seriously. But his previous record went against him.

Mitigating for Stagg, Neil Saunders told the judge: "The big problem is that he hasn't got any direction.

"If only he'd get on with it and get a job things would change. It is a case of the devil making work for idle hands."

Sentencing Stagg, Judge Cooper said: "I don't think I should give you another chance - you have had too many."

Judge Cooper sentenced Stagg to a four month detention and training order, which means he will spend two months in a secure unit and a two months back in the community but under supervision.

Stagg's Asbo was also extended for two years.

Speaking after the hearing, Ian Abury of Suffolk Coastal District Council said the sentence should send a clear message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

"This proves that Asbos aren't being taken lightly," he said.

"The idea is to improve the community's quality of life and this will prove the court has agreed.

"I am hoping the message sent by this will be that we will try our very best to highlight that there are problems and try to tackle it in any way possible.

"But if we have to go to court we will do and the court obviously felt custody was right this time."

Do Asbo's go far enough? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk