A "MENACE" has been banned from court buildings after allegedly telling an usher he wished he had died on one of the New York terror planes.

Faizal Akram has been accused of regularly causing trouble inside Blackburn magistrates court, Northgate, even when he isn't due before the bench.

The ban followed a warning letter sent to him in May after a previous incident when he was alleged to have threatened and abused court staff.

But Mr Akram said: "I'm innocent. This is nothing to do with me because I didn't say that. People at the court have just got it in for me because they don't like me."

Lancashire magistrates' committee decided to exclude him from the court following the latest incident -- the day after the destruction of the World Trade Centre.

If he is caught in the court when he has no reason to be there, or if he abuses staff, he will be detained under the Contempt of Court Act and taken into custody. The resulting punishment could be a custodial sentence of a £2,500 fine.

The rare Exclusion Order was made under Section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act and has only ever been used once before at Blackburn Magistrates' Court in the last 25 years.

Mr Akram, of Brantfell Road, Blackburn, is also the subject of two reports being filed to the Lord Chancellor. Court procedures stipulate that whenever a member of court staff -- in this case ushers -- is physically intimidated or attacked, reports must be filed.

A letter from deputy justice clerk Peter Wells confirming the ban said: "Once again you were threatening and abusive towards court staff. In a clear reference to the the terrorist attack on New York the previous day you said on more than one occasion to one of my court ushers 'you should have been on the ******* plane." "This caused a great deal of distress to an individual who was simply doing his job and should not be subjected to your foul abuse.

"With immediate effect it has been decided that in order to protect and ensure the health and safety of staff you should be excluded from and prohibited from entering the court building at all times other than when due to appear in court to answer a summons or surrender to bail or to make a payment in respect of any outstanding financial penalty owed by you.

"If you are found in the building for any other purpose you will be asked to leave and police assistance will be sought if necessary.

"If you are entitled to enter the building for any of the reasons outlined earlier you will be required to leave as soon as your case has been dealt with or a payment has been made, as the case may be.

"Be aware that the decision to exclude you will be enforced and any repetition of previous misbehaviour will not be tolerated."

Today Mr Wells, a qualified barrister, said Mr Akram was a menace and added: "These frontline staff put up with a lot, they are used to getting stick for court decisions. But being threatened is too much for them, as were the comments made to them last week"

A copy of the letter to Mr Akram has been sent to his solicitor and Blackburn Police, who confirmed they were aware of the incident. Today, Lousie Demaine, a former Darwen woman who now lives in New York, condemned the comments.

Along with fellow owners of the A Salt and Battery chip shop, East Lancastrian ex-pats Louise Golding and Michael Baldwin, she has been feeding fish and chips to the rescue workers still hoping to find some of the 5,000 missing people alive in the rubble remains of the World Trade Centre.

She said: "What this man is saying is just diabolical. There was an incident on the subway today when people started shouting at a Muslim man. That too is wrong.

"Thousands of people have died here and this place will never be the same again. People are going around doing normal things but it still hangs in the air.

"The faces of missing people are on posters everywhere. Everyone is in mourning and America has been touched by the support of Britain.

"But no-one, not even one man, should make light of what happened. It is such a dreadful thing to happen. This man's words were diabolical."

Alan Ford, an American who has lived in East Lancashire for 20 years, said: "We should be working towards forgiveness.

"As an American, I feel very nationalistic at the moment and I want to do all I can to help. Nothing negative should be said.

"We should be all working together to make things better. It is very sad."