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Gorleston: former Asbo offender jailed

PUBLISHED: 09:26 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 09:17 11 May 2010

A Gorleston man who used to terrorise its streets is still a prolific criminal with a heroin problem, a court was told.

In July 2004 Paul Platten was given an antisocial behaviour order after he was involved in a teenage gang that smashed windows, sprayed graffiti, set fires and threw missiles in the Baliol Road area.

A Gorleston man who used to terrorise its streets is still a prolific criminal with a heroin problem, a court was told.

In July 2004 Paul Platten was given an antisocial behaviour order after he was involved in a teenage gang that smashed windows, sprayed graffiti, set fires and threw missiles in the Baliol Road area.

Since then Platten has been before the court 18 times for theft and public order offences and been shoplifting with his father.

And on Friday Yarmouth Magistrates' Court also heard that Platten, 22, and his mother are struggling to overcome their heroin addiction.

Platten was jailed for 42 days after he admitted his latest in a long line of offences - possessing an offensive weapon, threatening kebab shop staff, shoplifting and obstructing police.

On the afternoon on January 29, Platten, of Baliol Road, had been thrown out of a kebab shop in St Peter's Road, Yarmouth, after he had drunkenly asked for free food.

Gary Mayle, prosecuting, said that Platten then put a golf ball in one his socks and threatened to use the improvised weapon to smash the kebab shop's windows. He also offered to fight one of the staff.

Mr Mayle said: “He was somewhat intoxicated. He admitted threatening to damage the window with the golf ball.”

Platten also pleaded guilty to shoplifting on January 17 when he was seen with his father stealing food worth £41 from Yarmouth's Iceland store. His father was convicted of theft last week.

Platten also admitted obstructing a police officer who had gone to his house to arrest him on December 21.

The court heard that in total he had 21 convictions for theft and a number of public order offences recorded.

He had been convicted in court 18 times since he was given the Asbo and had been in prison.

Arthur Balls, mitigating, said: “Paul Platten and his mother are going through a difficult time regarding heroin. He is not one of life's brightest individuals. He has had difficult times in the last few years.

“There are certain things that have happened that he does not want to go into.”

The court also heard that Platten had self-harmed in the past.

Mr Balls said that Platten could not remember the kebab shop incident and that he had only been a peripheral figure in the shoplifting offence.

When he was 17 Platten was one of four gang members, aged 12 to 17, who were given Asbos after they blighted the lives of people with their loutish behaviour.

At the time magistrates heard that Platten had threatened to break the legs of Baliol Road tenants' representative Alfred Learmouth and seriously injure his two stepdaughters.

After the Asbos were imposed in 2004 antisocial complaints in the area immediately fell by 70 pc.

As well as jailing Platten for 42 days, magistrates ordered the confiscation and destruction of the golf ball.

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