Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Families in Fear as Teen's Asbo Is Lifted

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Families in Fear as Teen's Asbo Is Lifted

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brenda Hickman and Joanne Parkinson

A community which breathed a sigh of relief when teen menace Colleen McDonald was locked up was once again living in fear today.

After she was arrested more than 48 times for a spree of disorder, burglary and vandalism, neighbours in part of Newcastle thought they had respite.

But despite Northumbria Police successfully applying for a two-year Asbo, and the 17-year-old being given eight months detention, McDonald has been released by a judge.

Today McDonald told the Chronicle she plans to keep out of trouble but the news has baffled community police and locals who came forward to help provide the evidence against the tearaway.

Her behaviour was so bad it drove 15 families from their homes on the Newbiggin Hall Estate, Westerhope.

McDonald had been given a detention and training order to run concurrently by magistrates on November 28 last year. Then, in December, a full two-year Asbo was imposed.

Following an application to a judge in Newcastle Crown Court on January 4, the Asbo was rescinded, and McDonald was released.

Now she is back in the community serving a 12-month supervision order.

Today residents criticised the outcome after they thought they had helped police protect the neighbourhood.

One 65-year-old man, who refused to be named said he was amazed McDonald was out on the streets again. "She should be locked up," he said. "She is a menace on this estate and I don't believe she will stay out of trouble."

A mum-of-five, who would not be named for fear of reprisal, said: "I hope she keeps out of trouble for the sake of those families and for her sake as well. The girl will be in and out of prison if she's not careful. It sounds like she's getting help now so I hope she takes it and turns her life around."

Outer West Newcastle acting Inspector Dougie Johnston said: "We are disappointed.

"Having secured the two-year Asbo on behalf of local families most affected by her behaviour, she has been released. …

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