The Leatherhead Advertiser has won the right to name a problem teenager who shot at a child with plastic bullets – despite police hoping to keep his identity secret.
Reporter Vikki Thomas successfully applied to overturn a Section 39 Order on the 17-year-old after he was made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order at Redhill Magistrates’ Court.
Vikki, (23), argued in court that it was in the public’s best interest to identify the boy and said the community had a right to know who had committed the anti-social acts.
And despite arguments to the contrary from Surrey Police and the defence – who argued that publicity would have a serious and harmful effect on the boy and his family – magistrates agreed that there were good reasons for naming the teenager.
Addressing the teenager, chairman Dr Tudor Thomas said: “We have had to find the balance between the public’s best interest and your welfare.
“The community has an interest as to who has been responsible for anti-social behaviour in their area.”
Allegations against the boy, who has no convictions, include letting tyres down, throwing dog dirt at children and spraying graffiti.
He denied some of the allegations against him, but admitted to committing enough anti-social acts to be suitable for an ASBO.
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