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Magistrate has enough - and throws rowdy teenagers out of court

PUBLISHED: 13:13 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010

By Ben McPartland A GROUP of unruly youths threatened with Asbos were thrown out of court by an angry magistrate for misbehaving. The 14 teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court last Thursday to hear the

By Ben McPartland

A GROUP of unruly youths threatened with Asbos were thrown out of court by an angry magistrate for misbehaving.

The 14 teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court last Thursday to hear the cases against them.

They were called before magistrates for alleged involvement in anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in Camden Town.

Officers from Camden Town Safer Neighbourhoods Team had to draft in extra back-up at the court to deal with the teenagers, who were asked by magistrate James Henderson to leave the public gallery.

"The judge asked them to leave and he banned them because they were being disruptive and disturbing the business of the court. What he makes of it all is for him to decide," said Sergeant Nick Peters.

Police were wary of possible disorder after similar scenes at Highbury Corner when 10 members of a gang known as the African Nations Crew, who plagued Inverness Street, caused trouble after they were handed Asbos in May last year.

PC Lee James was also in court last week to give evidence against the youngsters, all aged between 16 and 18.

He said: "The magistrate had just had enough. I popped out of court but when I came back they were all messing around at the back. The others should have gone home but they decided to hang around so we had to move them on. All this has done is make it worse for them."

The court action is part of efforts to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Camden Town.

The majority of the youngsters who were in court had their cases adjourned until June because they were unable to organise legal aid or representation in time for Thursday's hearing.

But Judge Henderson saw enough evidence to hand out interim Asbos against four of the group, barring them from entering Camden Town or from hanging around with the others until their cases are heard in full.

Speaking to one youth, Judge Henderson said: "On the papers I have before me I am clearly satisfied there's enough evidence of anti social behaviour."

He also warned the defendants to stay out of trouble before they return to court in June.

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk


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