Threats to 'strip and set fire to officer'

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A lout whose gang threatened to strip a police worker and set fire to her has been banned for five years from the Lancashire area he terrorised.

The young Police Community Support Officer was cornered by a group of hooded teens while patrolling the Broadgate area of Preston on the lookout for firework nuisance.

Lyndon Paul Baird, 18, of Christchurch Street, Preston, said he would burn her after another gang member had threatened to strip her naked.

Baird was fined 50 with 15 costs and a 15 victims' surcharge after pleading guilty to a public order offence at Preston Magistrates' Court.

The magistrates bench then slapped a Criminal Anti-social Behaviour Order on Baird, who is a known member of a group of young criminals who call themselves the Broadgate Riot Squad.

Baird is banned from Broad-gate, Avenham, Frenchwood and Penwortham except to travel home or to appointments down a designated route.

He must not possess open alcohol in a public place and is banned from associating with other members of the group.

PC Wayne Marsden, area police manager for Broadgate, said: "Our colleague was on patrol trying to stop firework nuisance in the Broadgate area when she came across a local park where youths had clearly been drinking.

"As she tried to pour some of the alcohol away she was threatened. "The group threatened to strip her naked and set her on fire.

"One then pulled a firework from his pocket and held it to her.

"Luckily she was not hurt but she was very shaken.

"Baird is a persistent offender in anti-social incidents and he influences those around him to participate in crime.

"It is clear the public are in need of wider ranging protection against further acts by him," added PC Marsden.

The judgement comes after the Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell, supported an application by the Evening Post to lift legal restrictions on two of Baird's associates, who were also banned from the area for five years.

Criminal Anti-social Behaviour Orders have been served by courts on Jared Alexander, 17, formerly of Langton Street, Broadgate, Ashley Harrison, 18, of Tennyson Mill Court, Ribbleton, and 15-year-old Sheldon Meades, of Scarlet Drive, Hutton.

The group is understood to have been causing mayhem for six years and has been responsible for robberies, violence and drug dealing.

The group circled the area on pushbikes, dressed in hoodies and threatening passers-by.

They communicated by howling a gang 'cat-call'.

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