Jonathan Black successfully persuaded the court to lift an ASBO that had been placed upon a client for an indefinite period seven years ago.
Jonathan and the same client had previously made history in 2006 when he represented him as the last person to ever appear in the dock at Bow Street Magistrates Courts.
For the past 7 and a half years , the ASBO has led to the client spending more time in jail and removing any chances of rehabilitation, no sooner was he released from each sentence then he is arrested and required to serve a further sentence. He was given an ASBO to curb his offending, the irony however, is that he was now only finding himself before the court for breaching the terns of the order and not for committing new offences.
The order had prohibited him, amongst other things, from having an open alcohol can or bottle in a public place , which was very hard to adhere to given that he was homeless and had a drug dependency and alcohol problem. Whenever he was found in possession of an open bottle, he was arrested.
Earlier this year , he started to receive help and support from The St Mungo’s Westminster Compass Team, an outreach team working with entrenched homeless clients with entrenched needs. His outreach worker, supported him in getting accommodation in a rolling shelter , linked in with the drug and alcohol service ( Turning Point) and making a benefit claim.
Lifting the lid on the ASBO
Jon successfully argued in court , that the order has gone on long enough. Most orders are for 5 years Maximum; and that there was never any chance of his client seeking rehabilitation whilst he is at risk of arrest for drinking alcohol or breaching any of the other terms of his ASBO, which then results in him being returned to custody. The court has to draw a line on this continuous pattern.
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