Inside adult lives of UK's worst-behaved ASBO kids – including 'feral' brothers, 14yo 'psychopath' & baby-faced 'Ratboy' | The SunApril 17, 2023
BRITAIN'S worst-behaved kids are now all grown up – and while some managed to turn their fortunes around, others spiralled into lives of crime and tragedy.
Anti-social behaviour orders – or ASBOs – introduced 25 years ago became a "badge of honour" that helped turn young hoodlums into serial offenders, critics say.
And one of the two terror pre-teens dubbed "Asbros" has today described how he was only encouraged to commit further offences.
Danny Oakley and his brother Ricky were labelled the "demons from hell" while notching up 40 arrests, wreaking havoc across their Park Village estate in Wolverhampton.
Sir Tony Blair's New Labour government – under then-home secretary David Blunkett – introduced ASBOs in 1998, lasting until being scrapped by David Cameron's coalition administration in 2014.
They were civil rather than criminal orders which could bar anyone over ten from specific behaviour such as vandalism, drunkenness and intimidation – with the risk of being jailed or put under a Parenting Order for any breaches.
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The "feral" Oakley brothers became in 2006 the youngest to receive ASBOs, aged just ten at the time.
Their havoc included hurling knives, setting off fires and slashing tyres as well as a spree of burglaries and robberies.
Danny has now spoken of his regrets – but also insists being slapped with an ASBO only fuelled his offending.
The 29-year-old, who now suffers from emotionally unstable personality disorder, told the Sun he and others should have been jailed instead.
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Danny previously revealed to the Sun how hiding his homosexuality helped turn him towards offending – but hopes has since become a source of hope online for LGBT+ youngsters from similar council estate backgrounds.
He said today: "What did an ASBO get me other than notoriety?
"It’s just a badge of honour and gets you even more into the criminal mindset – thinking, 'I’m the man of the area'.
"But instead, the harsher the punishment, the less likely you'll keep at it.
"I think it was prison instead that learnt me a lesson in life – even if it is a very fine line, as people can become institutionalised.
"I read Keir Starmer saying he’ll be bringing back ASBOs. If you’ve already terrorised 70 of your neighbours, what deterrent is that?
"They’ll just go into the next street. That’s how good areas become bad.
"When I was a kid we did have youth clubs, more policing – but now there’s nothing for people to do. The system is so tightly-squeezed. I can understand why young people turn to crime."
'I'm infamous – I'm well-known for very negative stories'
A National Audit Office report in 2006 suggested 55 per cent of people given ASBOs did not comply with its conditions, while one-fifth breached them more than five times.
Danny left home at 15 and went on to study at Walsall College, doing a level-1 GNVQ in business studies – though was last in the dock only this month, convicted of assaulting a prison officer.
Danny says he only lashed out on fearing being taken to hospital when forcibly strapped to an ambulance bed after falling in the street – and was discharged by a judge without being sent to jail.
He also revealed he and Ricky seldom speak these days, describing his brother as "doing his own thing".
But he hopes his online presence – including a Facebook account with more than 5,000 followers – can prove encouraging as youngsters wary of coming out to their families share their experiences.
Danny added: "Twenty years on. I can help other people now at least – I want to give something back to the community.
"I’m infamous – I’m well-known for very negative stories. I want to become well-known for positive stories."
Former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, who was shadow home secretary facing Mr Blunkett during ASBOs' early years, told the Sun: "ASBOs were a very very good idea but they were never followed through properly.
"People actually used them as a badge of honour, even boasting 'I've got six' – well, you should never have been given a second ASBO.
"There seemed to be a lack of will to follow up with tougher action.
"That's why it's often the case now that when you get yobbish behaviour, if a householder goes out to confront someone they're the one who gets arrested instead.
"Too often there was this helpless attitude of, 'There's nothing we can do' – well, of course there is."
Another "ASBO kid" turned out to become one of the country's most notorious sex offenders.
Joseph McCann was jailed for life in 2019 after a two-week cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage in which he kidnapped victims at knifepoint, held them prisoner and carried out rapes and sexual assaults.
He previously spearheaded a gang of brothers causing chaos across their now-demolished Beswick estate in Manchester – landing himself an ASBO aged just 14 in 1999, alongside siblings Sean, 16, and 13-year-old Michael.
A neighbour said: "They were a horrible family, absolutely vile – scum of the earth."
Council chiefs evicted the family after setting up a video camera in response to multiple complaints from neighbours – capturing the mob wrecking cars, tossing bricks and vandalising homes.
Joseph McCann went on to be jailed for nine years in 2008 for aggravated burglary, of an 85-year-old man in Bedford – then for three-and-a-half years in 2017 for another burglar.
He then received 33 life sentences in December 2019 for his attacks on 11 victims aged between 11 and 71 in April and May that year, across Greater Manchester and London.
His trial judge labelled him a "classic psychopath" – while a later report revealed he had been mistakenly freed from an earlier sentence by probation officials.
His brother Sean had taken his own life in Peterborough prison, aged 32, while doing two years for assault.
Another notorious "ASBO kid" also garnered the nickname "Ratboy".
Anthony Kennedy was first cautioned aged ten in the 1990s, when causing mayhem on Newcastle's Byker Wall estate – then was arrested 16 times between the ages of 11 and 13.
His nickname came after being discovered by police when hiding in a ventilation shaft.
Despite the ASBO – following offences such as burglary, theft and driving offences – he was jailed for four years aged 17 for robbing a pensioner.
More prison terms for burglary came when aged 20, 24 and 26 – and he was jailed again in February 2018 for his 37th offence, as a 37-year-old.
Kennedy had only just been released from his latest spell behind bars when he broke into a house in North Tyneside and smashed his way in through an 100-year-old glass panel in the front door.
The intruder then left a trail of blood through the house after cutting himself on the shattered glass and swiped a £750 watch, £80 cash and sentimental jewellery belonging to the homeowners.
Kennedy was collared after CCTV identified him and DNA tests on the blood proved he had been in the house on September 21, 2017, which was locked and alarmed.
Judge Robert Spragg jailed Kennedy for three years and four months, describing him as “turning into a career burglar”.
Kennedy had claimed in 2007 to have turned his back on crime after finding love and religion.
He insisted in an interview at the time: "I believe it's important to treat others how you would like to be treated yourself and to have respect for other people.
"When I was Ratboy, those were things I didn't care about.
"Ratboy is the person I used to be. The only names I want to be called now are Anthony and Dad. I've turned my back on crime and would never go back to that life. I've got too much to lose."
Tyler and Shamen Williams
Only last week two thug brothers who got their first ASBOs aged 10 and 13 were jailed for hunting strangers with a machete.
Tyler Williams, now 33, and Shamen Williams, 30, were locked for a total of 26 years after carrying out the attacks for "fun" and for "sport".
The duo, from Kent, have offended together for the past 20 years with police first releasing mugshots of them in 2003.
The brothers' mother today reacted angrily when asked about their ongoing reign of terror across Kent.
Mother-of-seven Jainine Scamp, 51, told Mail Online: "I don’t want to say anything about it. I don’t want to talk to you."
And last October a teenager was jailed for drug offences, having previously been one of the youngest people given an ASBO.
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Alfie Hodgins received his at the age of ten in 2014 for "terrorising the community" in Liverpool, barring him from "causing harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public".
But Hodgins, by then 18 and from Wirral in Liverpool, was jailed for two-and-a-half years last October after admitting possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
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