Sunderland court backs Echo 'name and shame' bid

Sunderland Echo chief reporter Craig Thompson has won the right to name a persistent youth offender who had plagued a city estate for four years.

Following an application by Northumbria Police at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court to apply an antisocial behaviour order, magistrates agreed to lift restrictions on identifying 17-year-old Michael Smith.

The teenager had been arrested 41 times in four years and was banned from an estate after a crime spree which left neighbours living in fear.

Thompson said: “We felt in this case it was important that the people of Sunderland knew who this youth was. Despite the protests from his solicitor, the magistrates took just a few minutes to find in our favour.

“Sunderland prides itself on leading the UK in its fight against anti social behaviour and the Echo believes it has an important role to play in this.”

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