Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Published: 12 June 2008
‘Drug-dealing gang’ ordered to stay away

Asbos for ‘friends’ of murder victim

TEN teenagers believed to be involved in drug dealing have been barred from parts of Camden Town. The bans come two weeks after the murder of a youth said to be part of the gang.
Sharma’arke Hassan, 17, was shot two weeks ago while anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) were being sought against him and 13 others.
Police officers believe the teenagers are part of a group of Somali youths who call themselves The Money Squad.
Nobody has been charged with the murder. Detective Inspector Dave Rock said yesterday (Wednesday): “We are developing some lines of inquiry. We’re very much still working on this murder, but our lines are confidential at the moment. I’m pleased to say there have been no reprisals. We’d like to keep it like that and let police get on with the investigation.”
Twelve youths appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court to hear Asbo cases against them in two separate sessions on Thursday and Tuesday. All but two of the youths were handed interim Asbos, with full civil proceedings due to be heard at the start of next month.
The council and police claimed the group had been involved in months of drunkenness and fighting in a Camden Town triangle between High Street, Camden Lock and Oval Road bridge – an area described as an “aggressive cannabis market”.
During a disrupted hearing on Tuesday, Deputy District Judge Robert Booker warned the teenagers he could hold them in contempt of court.
One youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, called the judge “bruv” after being ordered to remove his hands from his pockets. “It’s my hands, bruv. If you want to give me an Asbo just do it,” he said.
The judge told him: “Do you know what I can do to you? I’ve told you once how I want you to address me and how I want you to behave. I can hold you in contempt of court.”
Mr Hassan’s tragic death hung over proceedings at court five. As one of the teenagers Camden was pursuing for an Asbo, Mr Hassan’s name was on the list of defendants and his reference number, “3J”, was repeatedly removed from court papers. His family insisted in an interview last week that he was not part of a gang.
During one youth’s hearing, PC Lee Janes said: “One of his friends was murdered in the area. It’s gang-related. We know it’s gang-related. We don’t want this defendant to get into the same kind of trouble.”
Judge Booker said the youth, who cannot be named, may one day thank him for his Asbo restrictions, which prevent him meeting up with more than two of the other defendants.
But the wide use of Asbos remains a point of contention. Last week, defence lawyer Jim Skelsey opposed an interim Asbo against another defendant, arguing that there was “a lot of guilt by association, a lot of vague assertions, but in terms of evidence of anti-social behaviour, it is not consistent with a prolific offender”.
In the most recent hearing, Judge Booker said: “[These young men] have caused harassment and alarm. The distress is palpable. It’s obvious. It’s clear residents and businesses are exasperated, frightened and frankly at the end of their tether.”
The judge added: “It is clear these men are involved in drug use and drug dealing and employed tactics I can only describe as aggressive selling of their wares.
“If anyone stands up to them they are subjected to abuse and violence. The whole point of this legislation is that this kind of behaviour is limited and stopped.”

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions