A PROLIFIC drinker has been banned from boozing in four towns in Pendle after a spate of violent incidents.

Ben Smith, 20, has been banned from entering licenced premises in Barrowford, Brierfield, Colne and Nelson and from being drunk in public or having alcohol on him in the whole of Pendle.

Smith, formerly of Carr Street, Nelson, but now living with his dad in Roughlee, has been a serial offender when under the influence of booze for the past 12 months, Reedley magistrates Court heard.

He did not attend the hearing because he was ill, but his solicitor David Lawson said he was happy to accept the order.

The court said hewould not be banned from going out in Roughlee in case he went for a meal with his father, but he would be prohibited from being drunk in the village.

The banning order is only the second to be brought in in East Lancashire and will apply until November 2011.

Smith will also have to attend a drink rehabilitation course.

PC Karen Fitzpatrick, from Pendle’s Multi Agency Problem Solving Team, said: “This man has become a prolific offender when under the influence of alcohol, especially over the past six months, and our officers were coming into contact with him more and more.

“He has committed numerous violent offences, criminal damage and general disorder, and we feel this is the best way to protect himself and other people in the towns.”

Mick Armfield, Pendle Council’s licensing enforcement officer, said: “Banning problematic customers through the borough's three Pubwatch schemes has resulted in fewer alcohol related crime and disorder incidents in and around licensed premises.

“The introduction of Drink Banning Orders will further help us to ensure that Pendle’s pubs and clubs are a safer environment for all.

“It will also send out the message to troublemakers that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”