Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Asbo bans man, 52, from churches

Raymond Woods
Raymond Woods is allowed in church to attend a service or by invitation

A 52-year-old man has been banned from any place of worship across England and Wales after a series of public order offences at churches in Surrey.

Police said Raymond Woods, of no fixed abode, stole money and other items, caused criminal damage and intimidated parishioners in Godalming.

Magistrates in Guildford granted a four-year Asbo on Friday which bans Woods from places of worship.

He is allowed in church to attend a service, or by official invitation.

The order states the invitation must be from a church representative.

Other offences by Woods included being abusive to the public and intimidating shopkeepers in Godalming town centre, Surrey Police said.

Woods has caused no end of misery
Jo Grimshaw

He also targeted people in the doctor's surgery, supermarket, bank and railway station.

Jo Grimshaw, anti-social behaviour manager for the force, said Woods had been "verbally warned on many occasions" but had "continued to behave in an offensive manner" and had not taken up the help he had been offered.

She said: "Woods has caused no end of misery to local Godalming shopkeepers, residents and parishioners and Surrey Police will not tolerate such anti-social behaviour."

She said she hoped the Asbo would end the "suffering he has caused" and urged people to report Woods if he breaks any of the conditions.

Under the Asbo, which is in place until 13 November 2012, Woods is banned from part of Godalming town centre unless he is travelling by train, bus or taxi.

He is also banned from behaviour "likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress".

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