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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August 2005, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Youths warned not to cover faces
The gang
The youths congregating in a Scotswood playpark
A gang of hooded youths who terrorised a neighbourhood have been given Asbos and warned not to cover their faces.

The group of 12 youths, aged between 11 and 18, caused havoc for people living in the Scotswood area.

At court on Friday five of the youths aged 13 to 18 were given Asbos, while two others signed up to Acceptable Behaviour Agreements (ABAs).

One gang member is in custody and four refused to sign ABAs, which can be used in evidence for future proceedings.

The teenagers were known locally as the 'hoody' or 'bike' gang because they kept their faces covered with scarves, hooded tops or hats and often used bikes to ride around on to intimidate residents.

Stuart Spence, 18, of Dilston Road; Alan Dodd, 17, of Aldwick Road; Ricky Weatherson, 13, of Bishop's Road; Sean Lawson, 16, of Broadmead Way and Kieron Hardy, 13, of Aln Avenue, all Newcastle, had two-year Asbos imposed and are now banned from much of Scotswood.

Residents intimidated

The group have had other conditions imposed which include not concealing their faces and not mixing with each other.

Inspector Damian McEnroe, who heads Newcastle's Asbo unit, said: "This was a large group of youngsters who were causing major problems in Scotswood.

"Complaints against them included openly drinking in local parks, throwing cans, bottles and rubbish around, scrawling graffiti and using their bikes aggressively.

"All those given Asbos have been in trouble with the police on numerous occasions and we, along with our partners, have tried various methods of dealing with them.

"We will continue to monitor the behaviour of these youths and those that breach their Asbos will be put before the court. The youths on ABAs may be subject to Asbo applications if they continue to offend.

"We will try to support them all through home visits, through Social Services and the Youth Offending Team and hopefully get them to realise their unacceptable behaviour has to change."


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