Telegraph fights ban to name youngest ASBO

The Derby Evening Telegraph has named and shamed the city’s youngest ever recipient of an anti-social behaviour order after one of its reporters successfully argued in court that an order banning his identification should be lifted.

Twelve-year-old Aaron Garbutt was given the order at South Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on 28 February after vandalising property and threatening people in Chaddesen, Derby.

His lawyer applied for an order banning his identification but Evening Telegraph fights ban to name youngest ASBO Telegraph crime reporter Paul Bull had other plans. He contacted deputy news editor Emma Slee in the paper’s office to advise him on how to fight the order.

She found case law in McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists from Shrewsbury Crown Court in 2000, where Judge Michael Mander lifted an order imposed by local magistrates banning the Shropshire Star from naming a young person with an ASBO.

The judge said there was not point in issuing an ASBO if the subject’s identity was secret.

Bull said: “Magistrates asked both myself and the Derby Community Safety Partnership anti-social behaviour team whether we had any representations.

Firstly, an ASB officer told the court that she believed it was in the public’s interest for people who received ASBOs to be identified, as they were put in place to protect the community and that the public played a major part in helping to enforce them.

“I then reiterated what Mandy had said and explained that the restrictions imposed in ASBOs made it essential for the public to know who was subject to them. I said the Home Office supported the identification of people with ASBOs, regardless of age, and that to prevent us from identifying them would defeat the purpose of the orders.”

Magistrates agreed with Bull’s argument and head of the bench Clifford Warner announced that the order was lifted.

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