Yob banned from FIVE areas of Sunderland gets permission to enter exclusion zone to see girlfriend

A criminal who is banned from large parts of his home city has now been given permission to enter an exclusion zone - but only to visit his girlfriend.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 2:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 5:53 pm
Robert Smith.

Robert Smith is not allowed to enter Town End Farm, Hylton Castle, Castletown, Downhill, Redhouse, all in Sunderland, under the terms of a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order which expires in 2020.

The 22-year-old serial menace has already repeatedly breached the order and been sent to prison as a result.

At Newcastle Crown Court today Smith's legal team sought permission for the order to be relaxed so he can visit his girlfriend, who lives in Hylton Castle.

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His barrister Jennifer Coxon said Smith, who handed in a personal letter to the judge, has family in Hylton Castle, as well as his girlfriend, and has breached the order in the past to visit them.

Miss Coxon said Smith, who is on a tagged curfew as a result a jail sentence, currently lives with an aunt, who has allowed him to sleep on her sofa for the last 18 months.

The curfew means he must be in her home by 7pm each night.

Miss Coxon added: "This is an application to simply attend his girlfriend's address only."

Prosecutor Joe Culley said Smith, now of Edward Street, Hetton, has "built up a substantial record of offending" in Sunderland.

Judge Penny Moreland allowed a clause to be added to the Criminal Behaviour Order which will allow Smith to attend his girlfriend's address only, via the designated route of Washington Road, Canterbury Road and Chelmsford Road in Hylton Castle.

The judge warned him: "It is permission to go to that house and that house alone.

"You do not have permission to stop on the journey, call into shops, stand out on the street, anything of that sort."

The court heard the order expires on December 8, 2020.

When imposed in 2017 the order was judged "the most significant success" for the Sunderland North Safer Estates partnership in which police work closely with Gentoo and Sunderland City Council’s anti-social behaviour (ASB) team.