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Award for community champ Fred

PUBLISHED: 10:19 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:17 03 July 2010

A community champion was in tears as he accepted an award yesterday to mark his crusade against anti-social behaviour.

Fred Learmonth, of Gorleston, was presented with a special award for his dedicated work in the community by Supt Jim Smerdon, of Norfolk police, who described him as a legend.

A community champion was in tears as he accepted an award yesterday to mark his crusade against anti-social behaviour.

Fred Learmonth, of Gorleston, was presented with a special award for his dedicated work in the community by Supt Jim Smerdon, of Norfolk police, who described him as a legend.

Since 2003 Mr Learmonth, 63, has worked tirelessly to rid the Magdalen Estate in the town of anti-social behaviour, encouraging neighbours to give evidence against unruly teenagers and offering youngsters the chance to turn their lives around by taking part in community projects.

Mr Learmonth, a reformed alcoholic, admitted he had been in trouble with the police when he was younger and said it was those exper-iences that had inspired him to help others in the community. In recent years he has overcome ill health, having been diagnosed with cancer, and continued with his work, setting up a garden project and youth club.

At the ceremony at the Novus Centre, Yarmouth, he said: “Without all these people behind me I would not be here now. I'm gobsmacked to receive this award.”

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