Coventry trainee contests CRASBO identity ban

A trainee reporter on the Coventry Evening Telegraph has successfully challenged a court order restricting the naming of a 15-year-old tearaway.

Reporter Emma Race was in court when Cavan Connolly pleaded guilty to assault and was given a five-year Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (CRASBO), which banned him from several of his favourite haunts, including a local McDonald’s.

The court tried to pass an order stopping him from being named, but Race challenged it, quoting the new Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, which came into force on 20 January and states that automatic restrictions against naming a juvenile in an anti-social behaviour hearing no longer exist.

Magistrates must make a specific order banning identity and have a good reason for doing so.

The court clerk made some phone calls and confirmed Race was correct. The Evening Telegraph subsequently ran a frontpage splash naming Connolly who, the court heard, had “terrorised” his neighbourhood for some time.

Race joined the paper last summer after completing Trinity Mirror’s pre-entry training course in Newcastle.

Editor Alan Kirby said: “Our crime reporter Hayley Cuthbertson had alerted all reporters to the new legislation and I am delighted that Emma, using that knowledge, showed initiative to challenge the magistrates.”

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