TWO brothers with a history of housebreaking have been kicked out of East Lothian in the first banning order of its kind served by the council.
Paul and Gordon Williamson, who have more than 30 convictions for burglary, are barred from entering the county under a landmark antisocial behaviour ruling.
It is understood the interim ban was enforced due to the “unsual and extreme case of antisocial behaviour” perpetrated by the pair. A court will consider whether to grant full Asbos later this month.
The duo from Kirkliston, aged 43 and 48, are understood to have racked up the huge list or convictions between June 2006 and May 2011.
The move comes as a rowdy pensioner from Prestonpans and 47-year-old man from Aberlady were both hit with banning orders for playing loud music and acting in a threatening manner.
Today, politicians applauded the council for helping to protect residents from repeat offenders. Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, said: “I’m glad the local authority has been prepared to use these powers in this case to stop the disruption caused by these two brothers and I think most residents will be quite happy to know that they are no longer allowed in East Lothian.
“I’m glad in this county we still have a strong antisocial behaviour department who work with police and use the legislation that’s available.”
His views were echoed by East Lothian Provost Ludovic Broun-Lindsay, who said: “This is certainly a warning to anyone else wanting to get up to no good in East Lothian that it will not be tolerated.
“This action is unprecented and I am very glad they have been banned from the county.” But Cllr Broun-Lindsay said he believes the banning powers should be restricted to extreme cases and not a penalty to be used casually. “I would not favour these being applied willy nilly because it’s a fairly extreme form of punishment. These powers should be used sparingly but if necessary they should be used again.”
In the other cases, William McMillan, 66, who lives in Wilson Avenue, was punished with a two-year Asbo for playing loud music, shouting, swearing, and acting in a threatening manner. He is also banned from inviting Isobel Stewart, of Middleshot Square, Prestonpans, into his flat.
A council spokesman said the granting of a full order “underlines the fact that his behaviour must change”.
And Bruce Wright, 47, has been banned from disturbing neighbours by being “excessively noisy” and failing to control his dogs at his home in West Main Street, Aberlady.