Leeds gang's no-go zone threat EXCLUSIVE

A woman of 20 and three teenagers threatened to turn an inner city area into a 'No Go' zone, a court heard.

Leeds Magistrates were told the level of intimidation and antisocial behaviour was so bad in "Little Scotland" in Armley, Leeds, some residents were worried they would no longer be able to sell their properties "to escape".

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Mr Richard Desforges yesterday applied for full Anti-Social Behaviour Orders against the woman and the youths on behalf of Leeds City Council.

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He said the yobs were part of a gang which were responsible for acts of drunkeness, stone-throwing, setting-off fireworks and damaging vehicles, house windows and property.

Jodie Blunt, 20, of Clyde Grange, Armley, Leeds, Marcus Lee Goodwin, 17, of Highhorne View, Armley, Daniel Heaney, 15, of Edinburgh Terrace, Armley, and Jon Paul Cumming, 14, of Highthorne Grove, Armley, were subject to Interim Anti-Social Behaviour Orders imposed on October 7.

Magistrates yesterday imposed full orders on all four for a period of two years.

They are forbidden to act in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person not in their own household living within the Leeds City boundary.

Legal representatives for the four said they accepted they had been involved in antisocial behaviour and there was a need for the orders.

But Mr Stuart Field, for Goodwin, said his client did not accept all the complaints against him.

And Mr Andrew Vickers said that neither Blunt or Cumming had breached their Interim orders.

All four were banned from associating in public with large groups of named individuals.

Blunt, Goodwin and Cumming were also banned from entering a specified Exclusion Zone other than to reach their homes and in the case of Goodwin to visit his grandfather.

Mr Field's application for an order under Section 39 of the Children's Act banning Goodwin's identity being published by the media was refused.

Similar applications were made by Mr Vickers for Cumming and by Mr Zahid Majeed for Heaney and rejected.

Mr Desforges acknowledged the court's time had been saved by the four not opposing the ASBOs and 14 witnesses had not been required to give evidence on behalf of themselves and the community.

The terms for the ASBOs were as those on the Interim Order as residents had seen an improvement in community life.

If Cumming and the others "kept their noses clean" applications might be made to vary the new orders or even discharge them early, he added.

Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council's executive board member for community safety, said: "I am pleased that the courts have imposed antisocial behaviour orders on this group of young people.

"Their aggressive, intimidating and abusive behaviour has made life a misery for people living in the area.

"The ASBOs will give us greater powers to curb such behaviour in the future."

Insp Mark Bownass, of the West Inner Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: "We hope it will serve as a warning to others who persist in making peoples' lives a misery."

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