In the Media

Asbo boy 'terrorised area since age of six'

PUBLISHED June 29, 2006

A boy aged 12 who has terrorised his neighbourhood since the age of six has been banned for four years from 13 streets near his home.

Ryan Muggleton threatened residents with knives, set fire to property, vandalised cars and stole, a court heard. One neighbour was so tormented that she moved house.

Gloucester City Homes, which houses the boy and his family on behalf of the city council, said it had sought the anti-social behaviour order to protect residents who feared for their safety.

Leoni Woodward, the solicitor for Gloucester City Homes, told magistrates in Coleford, Glos: "There have been reports of damage caused to cars and to houses. He is verbally abusive and threatening. People are scared of him.

"In the past he has threatened children and adults with a knife. And more recently we have heard about him starting to set fire to things again."

Police first received complaints about Muggleton in 2000, when he was accused of criminal damage.

The order prevents the boy entering streets near his home in Podsmead, Gloucester, including one half of his own street.

Jon Holmes, defending, said Muggleton admitted he had done wrong but that his family life was partly to blame. "There are difficulties with his family, which do not help, but he does understand the implications of this order," he said.

Muggleton was also placed under a night-time curfew for two years. He was also banned from making 999 calls except in a genuine emergency.

Other terms included a ban on causing damage; throwing anything to cause damage or injury; using threatening, foul, abusive or sexually explicit language, or gestures; or physically threatening anyone.

Magistrates lifted an order preventing the boy's identification after a challenge from a local newspaper.