No order for young thug

HE'S got criminal convictions stretching back years, he's made life a misery for his neighbourhood, and he's currently serving a six-month sentence in a young offenders' institution.

By Victoria Knowles

HE'S got criminal convictions stretching back years, he's made life a misery for his neighbourhood, and he's currently serving a six-month sentence in a young offenders' institution.

But Ipswich magistrates don't think Jamie Webber is suitable for an Anti Social Behaviour Order. They don't think it would help the long-suffering residents of the Whitton estate that he plagues.

When he is released, the ASBO could have protected them from his increasingly violent behaviour. But it will not be in place.

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Yesterday the order was refused by South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

After years of threatening and abusive behaviour the criminal justice system has not been able to control him.

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But magistrates said the civil order which may help protect the people he is systematically abusing was not necessary in his case.

In South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday even his own legal representative agreed his behaviour had been anti-social.

Webber, who was given the six-month sentence on June 19, has escaped the order despite spitting at police officers and biting another officer's finger while he was in police custody.

Ipswich Borough Council brought the action against the 20-year-old after a string of offences and anti-social behaviour throughout the Whitton and Castle Hill areas of Ipswich.

The court heard how Webber, of Defoe Road, Ipswich, had pleaded guilty to four assaults on police officers, urinating in a police cell, criminal damage and numerous other offences including driving whilst disqualified and drink driving.

In a statement read out in court the magistrates heard how Webber had shouted abuse at officers and spat at them in the police station. He also bit the custody sergeant's finger and drew blood on June 12.

The court also heard how, on March 29, police were called to a report of an assault on a 15-year-old girl.

They made a search of the area and saw Webber who turned and ran off. The police helicopter was called and Webber was tracked down to a shed in someone's back garden in Byron Road, Ipswich.

When he was caught Webber became abusive and said to officers, "If you don't take your hands off me I will hit you".

He was swearing and attempted to head butt the shed door. He then spat at the officers.

Stephen Goodfellow, for Ipswich Borough Council, said: "All the incidents in question have happened in Ipswich, including the assault on a 15-year-old female, and he is affecting the area he lives in. He certainly has a reputation in the area and the custodial sentences he has received have had little or no effect on him."

Craig Marchant, representing Webber, said: "It is obvious he has acted in an anti-social way on many occasions."

But he went on to challenge the necessity of such an order. Telling the court that his behaviour could be dealt with sufficiently under the criminal justice system and that the act should not be used as an excuse for bad policing.

"Webber's anti-social behaviour had largely been after he had been arrested so that an Asbo would be little help as it is supposed to act as a deterrent," he added.

In refusing the order, chairwoman of the bench, Sandra Bryant said: " Jamie Webber's behaviour has on more than one occasion been anti-social.

"But we do not consider such an order to be necessary. We find the making of an order will add nothing to the criminal sanctions already used."

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