Freedom of speech is a thing of the past in the UK, after a court banned a man from swearing at anyone in Wales in what is thought to be the first countrywide order of its kind.
Arron Jeremy Vaughan must not use foul language or verbally abuse anyone across the country after being handed a Crasbo – a criminal anti-social behaviour order – by magistrates.
South Wales Police applied for the order to protect the public from Vaughan’s outbursts following a string of incidents in Cardiff, Bridgend and Newport.
The 41-year-old has racked up a total of 32 convictions for public disorder offences and has been banned from staying at a homeless shelter in Cardiff because of his behaviour.
If he fails to conform to the ban, he could face a five-year spell behind bars, a fine – or both.
The two-year Crasbo also forbids him from acting or inciting others to act in an anti-social manner that causes harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in Wales.
Police Constable Tony Molina, neighbourhood beat manager for Cardiff city centre, said: “Arron Vaughan can be abusive, offensive, aggressive and insulting to people if he feels that he is not getting his way. He will also get drunk, be violent to gain people’s attention and he will walk aimlessly on roads, causing a danger to road-users.
“He has been offered support and assistance from police officers, charities, outreach workers, social workers and mental health professionals to address his behaviour and use of alcohol, but unfortunately he has refused to engage.”
The Crasbo was imposed at Newport Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (June 27) after Vaughan was accused of insulting and abusive behaviour in Newport on April 14 this year.
Staff at the Custom House homeless centre in Cardiff said he had already been “excluded” from their services and had not been seen for almost a year.
PC Molina, who worked with Cardiff anti-social behaviour co-ordinator PC Alex Bourner during the application process, added: “We hope he abides by the conditions of this order and takes the opportunity to change his behaviour and lifestyle. We would urge the public to continue reporting all incidents of anti-social behaviour and, if they believe the terms of an Asbo are being broken, they should contact the police.”