PLANS to impose an anti-social behaviour order on identical twins have been set back because medical reports show they suffer from autism.

Katie and Ashleigh Lynch, both 19, formerly of Fairfield Avenue, Edgeside, are subject to interim anti-social behaviour orders imposed by Ross-endale magistrates after complaints of alleged drunken and nuisance behaviour in Edgeside, Waterfoot.

But police proposals for a full ASBO have been delayed because a report shows they both have Asperger's syndrome and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Despite the new medical evidence, police are determined to press ahead with the ASBO and an expert witness in the field of autism will be called when magistrates debate the application later this year.

A hearing at Reedley Magistrates' Court was adjourned yesterday for time to prepare for the full hearing.

David Leach, defending, said: "It has been apparent from an early stage that there is an underlying condition with the twins and a report has been done which concludes that both suffer from conditions under the autism spectrum, namely Asperger's and ADHD."

Mr Leach said it would be unfair on the twins to proceed with the ASBO hearing without the evidence of an expert witness who would be able to give magistrates an insight into any links between criminality and autism. Luke McGrath, prosecuting for Lancashire police, said they did not contest the medical report and would decide what action to take after hearing from the witness.

Asperger's sufferers have a tendency to focus intensely on areas of interest, have hyposensitivity or hypers-ensitivity to certain stimuli and suffer self-stimulating behaviours such as rocking back and forth, as well as a difficulty in interpreting facial expres-sions and other social cues.

ADHD is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyper-activity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility.

The Lynch twins must live at Shore Avenue, Burnley, as part of the terms of the interim ASBO.

They are not allowed to enter Waterfoot and their cases were adjourned until September 13 for a case management hearing .