A prolific pickpocket has been banned from entering Leeds city centre for FIVE YEARS after a judge told him “the city needs a rest from you”.
Jason Lee Webster stole purses, wallets and cash from numerous unwitting customers at city centre bars and restaurants during a three-month crime spree.
The 34-year-old, of Ascot Terrace, East End Park, was given a 16-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after being convicted at Leeds Crown Court of five counts of theft.
But, in an unprecedented move, he was also hit with a lengthy anti-social behaviour order to stop him from going back to his former “hunting ground”.
It bars him from entering the city centre other than for pre-arranged appointments with probation services or other agencies as directed by the court or to travel through on public transport without getting off.
Judge Rodney Jameson QC told Webster: “The city needs a rest from you.”
The ASBO was called for by the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team.
Pc Tom McCarthy, anti-social behaviour link officer, said: “Webster is a prolific offender who viewed the condensed area of shops, cafes and bars in the city centre as a lucrative hunting ground to steal purses, wallets and other items from people while their backs were turned.
“This five-year ASBO will, as the judge has highlighted, give the city a well-deserved rest from his offending behaviour. We hope it will also give him an opportunity to engage with the relevant agencies and break the cycle of offending.
“If he breaches the ASBO he will be brought back to court.”
Coun Mark Dobson, executive board member for safer communities, added: “This is a great result for the city and we’re all working together to ensure that people feel safe in their communities.”