Teenager jailed for defying ASBO
A 16-year-old boy from Bath has been sent to prison for breaching an anti-social behaviour order.
Yousef Harwood, of Saffron Court in Snow Hill, had been given the order banning him from entering Kingsmead Square or associating with a certain group of friends, in April.
However, just a week later he was spotted by a police officer posted to the Guildhall CCTV control room openly flouting those rules and was arrested.
Harwood, who has been in custody for the past three weeks, appeared at Bath Youth Court handcuffed and dressed in green prison clothes today.
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He admitted breaching the ASBO on two occasions, on May 1 and 28, and offered no explanation for his actions.
Andrew Banks, defending, told the court that Harwood had found it more difficult than he had expected to keep to the terms of the order.
He said: "Yousef himself agreed to the ASBO, he didn't challenge it.
"He gave great thought to it and he thought at the time that he would be able to stick to the terms of the order.
"He didn't know how much effort it would involve."
Mr Banks added that the temptation to go out with friends had proved too much when they were knocking on his door asking him to join them.
Harwood, who has left school and is currently out of work, was asked by magistrates to explain why he had broken the order.
He said: "I don't know. It was a mistake. It won't happen again."
Mr Banks told the court that Harwood, who wept during the hearing, had found life difficult in prison, but that he had made progress while behind bars.
He said: "He is now looking at things more positively.
"He wants to go to college and meet some new people there and concentrate on finding a purpose in life. Part of the problem has been his lack of impetus to do something constructive with himself.
"In part he would blame that on his misuse of cannabis. He has been in custody for a period of time and he hasn't been using cannabis or alcohol. Being in custody has broken those two cycles.
"It is fair to say he has found being in custody very difficult. I know that would be true of a lot of people but he has found it particularly difficult, it has been a shock to the system."
Mr Banks added that he had continued his education while behind bars and had been given privileges because of good behaviour.
He appealed to the magistrates to take into consideration letters of good character from his neighbours.
He said: "It would be easy for you to conclude that in some respects Yousef has been something of a layabout and has not contributed to society.
"These letters do show he has the potential to behave in a very positive way."
Chairman of the bench Richard Curry said the magistrates had no option but to impose a four-month detention and training order.
This means he will serve two months in custody and will be under supervision for a further two months.
Last month the youth court agreed to a request by The Bath Chronicle to waive Harwood's anonymity because of the nature of his crime and to ensure the ASBO was better enforced.