Burnley unemployed father branded ‘Britain’s worst dad’
AN UNEMPLOYED father-of-10 dubbed ‘Britain’s worst dad’ has been given an ASBO after a ‘dreadful catalogue’ of drunken and unruly behaviour.
Stewart Peter Murgatroyd, 41, received the anti-social behaviour order after a judge described his actions as ‘persistently making life miserable for people who live around you’.
The hearing was due to be heard in September, but moments before he was due to appear Murgatroyd was arrested for threatening his partner on the steps of Burnley magistrates’ court.
He was led away handcuffs by police and later fined.
Four of his children have been subjected to ASBOs. The family’s 13-year-old twin boys, Reece and Dillon, already have two-year ASBOs ordering them not to cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’, while two daughters were put on interim orders, which following good behaviour were not proceeded with.
Under the order even swearing or making obscene hand gestures in public could see him arrested.
The measures imposed to curb his behaviour will only apply to the Burnley area, where he lived until July, and not in Nelson where he has now moved with his long-term partner Dawn Hughes and eight of their children.
After District Judge Peter Ward imposed the order, Murgatroyd, now of Wickworth Street, said : “I shouldn't really be getting it.”
The hearing, at Burnley Magistrates' Court, was told Murgatroyd previously lived with his family in Hind Street, Burnley, but moved to Nelson, to ‘make a fresh start’.
Murgatroyd, who has claimed sickness benefit for depression since he was 17, has previously served a jail sentence for robbing elderly people and once had to be sprayed with CS gas by police in a row over his son’s football.
Previously, council officials evicted the family from one of their homes, in Padiham, after 125 complaints from neighbours about loud parties, fighting and drunkenness.
Jonathan Jackson, for Burnley Council, told the court that since Murgatroyd last appeared in court, he had ‘perhaps rather sensationally’ been portrayed as the worst father in Britain’.
Mr Jackson said Murgatroyd had been responsible for low level, persistent, anti-social behaviour such as being drunk and disorderly and threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
He said: “It was not targeted at specific people, perhaps some of it stemming from the fact it's a family of 13. “Noise is going to happen."
Mr Jackson said the Murgatroyd family had moved to the Pendle area.
He said: “He was in a difficult area in Burnley. He doesn't seem to be having the same issues that he was in the Burnley area.”
District Judge Ward, said: “You don't set a good example to your children if you are involved repeatedly in abusive behaviour, and looking through the papers, that is a pattern of what’s going on. It makes life difficult for other people."
District Judge Ward described Murgatroyd's behaviour as a ‘dreadful catalogue’, and said it although it might be called low level, it ‘makes life miserable for other people who live around’.
Insp Andy Cartwright said: “This action has been taken as a result of repeated complaints from members of the public.
“Both the police and other agencies have tried to work with the family and we have applied for these orders as a last resort.
Under the ASBO, he is banned from acting in a manner likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to people not of his household and which includes abusive or threatening language, swearing and offensive hand gestures, within the Burnley Borough Council area.
He is also prohibited from being in possession of any open container of alcohol and from being drunk in a public place in Burnley.
The district judge warned Murgatroyd: “Don't assume if you breach the order you will just get a fine of £50.”