Low hanging trousers are a human right rule magistrates, even if your underwear is showing

May 4, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A teenage yob has claimed a victory for hoodies after an ASBO banning him from wearing TROUSERS too low was scrapped – because it breached his human rights.

Ellis Drummond, 18, was facing a ban on ”wearing trousers so low beneath the waistline that members of the public are able to see his underwear”.

The Crown Prosecution Service were also hoping to ban the youngster from wearing any hooded clothing ”with the hood up” in public.

But the proposals were withdrawn after discussions with Drummond’s defence solicitor ahead of his appearance before Bedford Magistrates’ Court on April 27.

During the hearing District Judge Nicholas Leigh-Smith confirmed prosecutors would have ”failed” to convince him the low trouser ban was necessary.

He said: ”Some of the requirements proposed struck me as contrary to the Human Rights Act.”

Instead Drummond, of Rushden, Northants., received a four-year ASBO prohibiting him from using threatening behaviour, begging, or entering the grounds of Bedford College.

The ASBO was imposed following a number of convictions for assault, possession of Class B drugs and a public order offence.

Although the conditions were not argued in court prosecutor Jim Davis said there had been a case in Greenwich banning youths from wearing hoodies.

He added: ”It’s concerning that Drummond is acting in the way that he is to people he knows let alone people that he comes across.”

The first ASBO clause stated he must not ”wear trousers so low beneath the waistline that members of the public are able to see his underwear, in any public place in Bedford Borough”.

A second would have banned him from wearing ”any article of clothing with an attached hood in any public place in Bedford Borough with the hood up”.

After theses clauses were removed, Drummond’s solicitor Simon Campbell and the prosecutor eventually agreed three terms for the Asbo.

The terms stated: ”He must not approach any person and aggressively beg of them money or personal items belonging to them.

”He is not to use threatening or abusive behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as himself

”He cannot go to Bedford College or its grounds.”

After the hearing Drummond said he was considering making a formal complaint against the original terms of the ASBO, which he branded as ”silly”.

He said: ”My sister said they wouldn’t be able to put in those conditions. It’s like they?re trying to change the way I dress.”

Alex Deane, Director of civil liberties Big Brother Watch, said the ASBO would have been ”completely unenforceable”.

He said: ”As in this case, the term ‘human rights’ is frequently abused, rightly leading to ridicule. There is no human right to show people your pants.

”The proper punishment for the comically low-riding trousers favoured by some people is that we all think they look like idiots.”

A spokesman for the CPS said it was decided prior to the court hearing that a ban on Drummond wearing low trousers was no longer in the public interest.

He said: ”Before the court hearing, and following discussions with Mr Drummond?s defence solicitor, it was decided that several of the prohibitions were no longer necessary or proportionate to protect the public from further acts of anti-social behaviour.

”The remaining three prohibitions sought by the CPS with the agreement of the defence, and included in the Order granted by the court, were considered to be adequate.”

In 2005 Dale Carroll, then aged 16, from Cheetham, Manchester, became the first person in the country to be banned from wearing a hooded top.

The five-year ASBO was imposed after Carroll terrorised his community by attacking locals, throwing fireworks at cyclists and attempting to cut down a CCTV lamppost with a chainsaw.

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