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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 16:40 GMT
Man gets nationwide nuisance ban
Richard Symington
Symington has a long history of court appearances for his behaviour
A Sunderland man has been given one of the toughest Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) in the country.

Richard Symington has been banned from causing nuisance anywhere in the whole of England and Wales.

The 42-year-old was given an original order in November 2006 to curb his bad behaviour in Sunderland.

But when he started causing problems in Gateshead, magistrates imposed his ban nationwide. It is thought to be the first case of its type.

Clare Tierney, anti-social behaviour co-ordinator for Gateshead Council, said: "We are surprised and delighted by the decision of the magistrates.

"I had personally witnessed Symington shouting racist and offensive insults to members of the public outside Gateshead Civic Centre while drinking alcohol at 10 o'clock in the morning."

Symington has a long history of court appearances for drunk and disorderly conduct and threatening behaviour, Gateshead Council said.

His order prohibits him from a range of nuisance, including using abusive, insulting or offensive language to others and being in possession of alcohol in a public.

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