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ASBO AMONG FIRST IN THE UK TO COVER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Edwards has been ordered by a court in ...
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Edwards has been ordered by a court in

Manchester to stop beating up his partner.

According to witnesses, Edwards punched and stamped on his

heavily-pregnant partner, Katherine Kiernan, while she was in the back of

their car. Edwards, then living in Pembury Close, Wythenshawe, denied

hitting his girlfriend and told Manchester magistrates court that it was a

violent argument.

But the court decided that Edwards had attacked his partner and agreed to

an order specifically ordering him not to use or threaten violence against

any person, particularly Katherine Kiernan.

It is believed to be one of the first anti-social behaviour orders in the

UK that covers domestic violence, and is the first in Manchester to do so.

In a statement, one witness said that in June last year his children came

running in to the house saying there was a man battering his girlfriend.

He went over to a car pointed out by the children and saw Edwards, his

partner and their 16-month old daughter, Kadie, in the vehicle. He said:

'The defendant was punching his girlfriend around the head and face,

grabbing her by the neck.' Moments later, Edwards, it was alleged,

started stamping on her and kicking her body and legs. The witness said he

tried to intervene but Edwards squared up to him and he backed off.

Police were called in. The alleged attack was witnessed by another

resident who gave evidence in a statement.

In the statement, the witness also said: 'Our lives are now completely

upside down. My children won't play out and they have difficulty sleeping.

My wife has become a nervous wreck.'

Edwards, who opposed the making of the order, was also accused of racist

abuse, intimidation, driving erratically in and out of Pembury Close, where

children often played, and making threats to kill against the witness's

wife.

The order - which is indefinite - has a blanket condition banning Edwards

from acting anti-socially anywhere in England and Wales. He is also

prevented from obstructing people in the street, using abusive and

insulting language or behaviour, including spitting and the use of the word

'Paki,' and he cannot enter Pembury Close or approach or threaten

witnesses.

Edwards now lives in Stockport. The order was obtained by Willow Park

Housing Trust through Manchester City Council's Neighbour Nuisance Unit.

Sheila Doran, director of housing for Willow Park, said: 'I am full of

admiration for these tenants - they have shown an enormous amount of

courage in standing up to this thug. Our community is a safer place

because of their action and we should all be very grateful to them.'

The director of housing for Manchester City Council, Steve Rumbelow,

said: 'We will not tolerate any kind of violence in this city but

attacking one's partner is particularly despicable and Edwards must now

take full responsibility for his behaviour in future. If he breaches his

order he will be liable to arrest and possible imprisonment. We fully

support Willow Park and other housing associations and social landlords in

tackling anti-social behaviour like this.'

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