Mother says boy, 10, with Asbo is `cheeky' and in bad company

Ian Herbert@ianherbs
Thursday 10 February 2005 01:02

A BOY aged 10 who terrorised his neighbours has become the youngest person in Britain to be issued with an antisocial behaviour order (Asbo).

Ryan Wilkinson, from Harehills, Leeds, has been banned from four areas of the city and ordered to stay away from 17 named youths for the next five years. The order was made after the boy was accused of burglary, glue-sniffing, assaulting a seven-year-old and throwing a scooter at a bus packed with schoolchildren.

The 16-point order prohibits the boy, who lives with his mother, Susan O'Driscoll, from using public transport, using or threatening violence, committing burglary or carrying or throwing an offensive weapon. He is banned from public places in West Yorkshire between 7pm and 7.30am, unless accompanied by named family members.

The Asbo, issued by Leeds magistrates' court on Monday, was based on 11 offences allegedly committed by Ryan over a four-month period last year. In September, he was accused of being involved in a burglary in which he smashed the lounge and kitchen windows before climbing on the roof and hurling a roof tile through the bathroom window.

He was accused of breaking into the house through the security grille and stealing property. He was later found with a bike matching the description of one taken from the house, along with a can of lighter fluid.

The boy was also accused of throwing three metal bars at staff on an industrial estate. He admitted punching a seven-year-old boy in the face. Others complained of him verbally abusing them, spraying graffiti on a church wall and damaging cars and property. Ryan could not be prosecuted for any of the alleged crimes because he was nine years old at the time, below the age of criminal responsibility.

Ms O'Driscoll said: "I know he is a cheeky so-and-so, but half of the time he is being mixed up with other lads. Much of the time he has done what it is said - otherwise he wouldn't be on the Asbo. But a lot of the time he does get the blame for what other lads have been up to."

Ryan is a year younger than the child previously thought to be the youngest recipient of an Asbo order - Stefan Gilmore, of Hastings, East Sussex. Now 12, Stefan was jailed recently after amassing 23 criminal convictions over two years.

A Leeds city councillor, Les Carter, said the local authority hoped Ryan's behaviour would not deteriorate in the same way. "We have gone to considerable lengths to avoid this drastic action and to help to turn this child's life around. We will continue to do so," he said.

"However, we will not tolerate this type of behaviour. The community is entitled to be protected from him. While I appreciate a 10-year-old is very young to receive an Asbo, this child's actions cannot be ignored."

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