Teenager defends himself over animal attacks

Jay Price, 15, who is fighting his ASBO, pictured with his dog Scrap.
Jay Price, 15, who is fighting his ASBO, pictured with his dog Scrap.

A Lancaster teenager claims being given an ASBO has turned him into a “hoodie”.

Jay Price, 15, has spoken out after receiving a two-year Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) for a catalogue of incidents involving cruelty to animals.

But the schoolboy, from Marshaw Road on the Ryelands estate, says he actually loves animals, even working part-time at his uncle’s stables.

He denies having anything to do with the disappearance of Zebra, the Ryelands Primary School rabbit, whose severed foot was found and brought into the school by upset pupils.

He also denies owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or being involved in using dogs to “corner cats”, body parts of which were found on grass verges in Sefton Drive and Marshaw Lane.

He said the terms of the ASBO have forced him to become a hoodie to hide his face when he is not at home.

He said: “I didn’t used to wear a hood, but now I have to wear a hood in the area because everybody thinks I’ve done this. I’ve been to court, but it was all hearsay.

“They’ve got no witnesses and no evidence.

“I’ve got nothing on my record but this has given me a bad name.

“I accept the ASBO, but I’m not half as bad as what has been made out.

“It’s made me feel really bad, and I don’t want to go out of the house.

“I’d sooner earn my way through life. There are some things I want to change, but I would never stoop so low as to take the pet from the school.”

Under the terms of his ASBO, Jay must not: be in control of an animal, except when exercising a muzzled dog on a lead; act in an anti-social manner; enter the Ryelands estate other than via a specified route to his family home, or his grandfather’s, or associate with a named group of people.

The Government is currently proposing to scrap ASBOs and replace them with Crime Prevention Injunctions (CPIs), a civil order and similar to the existing ASBOs.

But ministers say it will be available at an earlier stage of bad behaviour and be easier and faster to use.

The CPI has a lower standard of proof and could be put in place in days or even hours, the Government has said.

A decision is yet to be made on this.

*Jay, along with his cousin Jordan Price, of Crossgill Place, Lancaster, were handed ASBOs at Lancaster Magistrates Court in November.