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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 17:02 GMT
Abusive city beggar is given Asbo
The case is thought to be the first of its kind in Scotland
An aggressive beggar has been given an anti-social behaviour order to stop him abusing passers-by in Edinburgh city centre.

John McKay received the Asbo after he repeatedly shouted, swore, threatened and even attacked workers and pedestrians.

It is said to be the first such action against a beggar in Scotland.

McKay, who has also been violent towards police and ambulance teams, can be arrested if he breaches the order.

This is one of the most appalling cases of anti-social behaviour I've ever had to deal with
Councillor Sheila Gilmore
Edinburgh City Council

He has been banned from areas around the city centre where, according to Edinburgh City Council, McKay caused distress, fear and alarm to people in shops and around the bus station.

A council spokeswoman said: "Despite intervention by the police, including various charges for breach of the peace, there has been no alteration in his behaviour.

"Whilst it's important to recognise that the majority of people who beg in the city centre do so with respect for those living, working and visiting the city - in this case no such consideration was given."

'Fear and misery'

Councillor Sheila Gilmore, who is in charge of safety, said: "This is one of the most appalling cases of anti-social behaviour I've ever had to deal with.

"That one person has brought fear and misery to many in the city centre cannot be tolerated.

"It's exactly this type of anti-social behaviour the council is determined to address and I'm confident that this Asbo will bring the respite that people working and visiting the city centre are absolutely entitled to."

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