A BABY-faced teenage criminal who was ‘making innocent people’s lives a misery’ has been issued with an ASBO and a two-year ban from Brierfield town centre.

Maruf Yousaf, who has just turned 16, was issued with the anti-social behaviour order at Burnley Magistrates’ Court after his destructive behaviour escalated over the past six months.

Police said that his offences included stealing handbags from people that he had identified as ‘vulnerable’, smashing windows, shoplifting, breaking into cars and hurling abuse at people in the streets.

The court heard that Lancashire Police had brought proceedings against the youngster due to his 'increasing levels of anti-social behaviour, hate crime, criminal damage and robbery, escalating over a period of time'.

Yousaf, who lives in Chapel Street, has been banned from entering Brierfield town centre and must not go within an area bordered by Burnley Road, Castle Street, Richard Street, Walter Street, Mount Street and Stanley Street unless supervised by an adult.

The teenager was also told that he is not allowed to associate with Shakeel Hussain, Hassan Ahmed, Fayzal Anwar or Qadir Ahmed, 'save and except for attending educational or pre-arranged court hearings, or for religious purposes’ within the Burnley and Pendle areas.

Brierfield councillor Nawaz Ahmed said: “The things that he was doing were just intolerable. He was making innocent people’s lives miserable and that can never be accepted.

“I really hope that this conviction will make him rethink his behaviour and I hope to see it improve.

“Banning him from Brierfield for two years will hopefully help seperate him from his gang on friends and maybe then he can behave better.

“It also allows people affected by his actions to shop in peace.”

PC Karen Isherwood, who dealt with the case, said: “Maruf has caused a catalogue of problems for local residents, despite many efforts to address his behaviour.

“I hope that this ASBO will protect the community of Brierfield from further acts of anti-social behaviour and sends a clear message that we treat this type of behaviour seriously.”

PC Isherwood said that Yousaf’s behaviour had progressively got worse over the past six months and that the police and Pendle Council worked together to bring a case against him in the interest of protecting residents.

Councillor David Whipp, Pendle Council’s executive member for Community Safety, said Yousaf had acted like a one boy crime wave.

He said: “This 16-year old boy has caused a considerable amount of harm and distress to local people.

“We will not tolerate this type of behaviour from anybody in Pendle and we are pleased that the hard work of the Police with the support of Pendle Council has resulted in this ASBO.”

If Yousaf breaks the ASBO he can be sent to a young offenders institution.