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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Boy banned from playing football
A schoolboy has been banned from playing football in the street by magistrates in County Durham.

Police applied for an anti-social behaviour order because of 15-year-old Dean Bell's unruly antics.

At one point police confiscated 12 balls from the youngster in the space of a fortnight.

Bell, of Hylton Terrace, Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, accepted the Asbo when he appeared before Durham magistrates.

Police said he would regularly use the local bus stop as a goal or practise his skills in the middle of the road leaving traffic backed up in both directions.

He was given a map by police showing the areas around Pelton where he is not allowed to use a football.

'Total disregard'

The order also prohibits Bell from going within 100 yards of the local Roseberry Sports and Community College, damaging property, congregating outside a list of takeaway premises and inciting others to commit any of those acts.

Pc David Barrass, of Durham Police, said: "Dean kicked footballs in the street with total disregard for traffic and property.

"It was not uncommon to see him in the middle of the main road with traffic backed up in both directions while he kicked the ball 30 to 40ft up in the air."

Bell's footballing antics came on top of other anti-social behaviour, which included harassing a shop worker and a teacher from the community college after he was expelled.

Pc Barrass said that since Bell had been summoned to court his behaviour had improved.

He added: "Asbos do work. Ever since getting the summons to appear in court Dean's behaviour has improved."

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