‘Hopeless drunk’ fails to lift ban from Burnley town centre

Appellant: Paul Manley
Appellant: Paul Manley

Alcoholic Paul Manley has failed to persuade a judge to change the ASBO banning him from Burnley Centre.

Mr Manley (45) wanted the order waived, but when the judge, his barrister and the counsel for Burnley Council turned up for a prompt 10-30am start at Burnley Crown Court he was nowhere to be seen. He was spotted on CCTV at 3pm, at a town centre pub, and was given a police escort to his hearing.

Miss Rachel Cooper, for Manley, said he was being criminalised for being a hopeless drunk, and that the terms of the ASBO were setting him up to fail.

The court was told Mr Manley had appeared before magistrates 111 times, nearly always for breaches of the anti-social behaviour order.

Mr Jonathan Jackson, objecting to the appeal, said Mr Manley was first given an ASBO banning him from Colne. When he moved to Burnley part of the order, banning him from being drunk, was removed because he could be dealt with by being arrested for being drunk and disorderly. The ban limits him from going into Burnley town centre, all the town centre supermarkets and the Anchor Retail Park.

Mr Jackson said the appellant had an inability to follow simple instructions. He ignored the order to go into shops and supermarkets when he went to steal alcohol, and that, although he did not do it intentionally, because he was a big man and was frequently drunk, his manner and demeanour he put a fear into people.

“It might be a waste of time because he keeps beaching it and nothing is done about it. The ASBO is a last resort there is nowhere for the council or the shopkeepers to go, but because someone is an alcoholic does not mean to say we have to ignore their behaviour.”

Dismissing the appeal, Judge Andrew Woolman said the ASBO was not working. “There has been a lamentable failure by the authorities to give any teeth to this order,” he said.

Judge Woolman the magistrates’ court could send any beach to the crown court for sentence, which could be as long as five years in jail.

Judge Woolman said the order was proportionate. “People in the centre of Burnley have been suffering for a long time, and need of a rest,” he said.