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Jail term for Burnley man's ASBO breach
AN alcoholic sent to a Christian-run rehabilitation centre, left the establishment, got drunk and flouted an anti-social behaviour order after getting fed up of reading the Bible, a court heard.
Prolific thief and nuisance Antony Cross, 40, was banned under the two-year order from being disorderly, and from entering Burnley bus station and shops.
But, homeless Cross had been drunk for a fortnight after falling off the wagon and had been sleeping at the bus station.
He also caused trouble at the town’s probation office, where he was shouting and swearing and claimed an officer had been smoking “crack”.
Police were called and Cross racially abused PC Oliver Sessions, a dark-skinned officer he believed to be Asian, in front of a horrified elderly passer-by. Cross, who has breached the ASBO five times, was sent to jail for four months by Burnley magistrates.
The defendant, from Burnley, admitted breaching the order on September 27 and racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, at Burnley on October 1.
Chairman Stephen Riley told him the Bench had no option but to send him to immediate custody.
He said: “You are a persistent offender who fails to comply with court orders.”
Andrew Robinson, prosec-uting, said Cross was given the ASBO on conviction on May 14. He was arrested after a security guard found him asleep at the bus station.
The defendant was detained again on October 1, when he went to Burnley probation office and caused a drunken disturbance in the public area.
PC Sessions, who is not of Asian origin, arrived and Cross swore at him and was offensive.
Mark Williams, for Cross, said his alcoholism was the problem.