A NOTORIOUS thief and persistent troublemaker has been warned to stay away from Newquay town centre or face five years in prison.
Paul Restall is already banned from at least 17 businesses in Newquay for harassing staff and shoplifting, but he has now been ordered by a court to stay out of the centre altogether for 11 hours of each day – or face a hefty fine or jail.
The news comes after 37-year-old Restall, who has 34 previous convictions and has been known to Newquay police for several years, was handed an Antisocial Behaviour Order (Asbo) at Truro Magistrates' Court.
It means the St Mary's Road resident is banned from entering the town from as far west as Newquay's Atlantic Hotel to as far east as the former Riviera Hotel, between 8am and 7pm each day for the next 24 months.
The Asbo also prohibits Restall from approaching members of the public for the purpose of begging, entering Newquay's Lighthouse Cinema, spitting in public and using foul and abusive language or behaviour.
Newquay police say Restall is a "persistent nuisance" to residents, visitors and businesses who have "suffered" his "unacceptable behaviour" for "long enough".
PCSO Ben Pessl said: "The community and commercial premises in Newquay have suffered for long enough because of his unacceptable behaviour – his consistent begging, and attempts to get into premises he has already been banned from.
"He also continued to commit shoplifting offences and harass staff in several shops and establishments in town.
"Restall has been a persistent nuisance to residents and visitors. I cannot stress how much of an annoyance he has been in the town centre."
Restall was given an interim Asbo on October 29 but breached it twice. He was back before the court on Friday, November 22, for a full Asbo hearing, and the application was successful.
Newquay police and Cornwall Council's antisocial behaviour (ASB) team say the successful Asbo application was the culmination of months of hard work by both organisations.
Natasha Mathews, of Cornwall Council's ASB team, said: "Restall was given many chances to modify his behaviour, such as warnings and an Acceptable Behaviour Contract, but his behaviour continued to have a detrimental effect on the local community.
"The Asbo will send a strong message to those who choose to engage in antisocial behaviour that it will not be tolerated and enforcement action will be taken."
Sergeant James Honeywill said that the issue of an Asbo was a "serious measure".
He said: "This is a great success and it is hoped the Asbo will deter further offending by Mr Restall, but if not will enable us to take swifter and more effective enforcement action against a continuation of his antisocial behaviour.
"The local police and ASB team are working together to deal with similar behaviour from a number of other individuals who are at varying stages of the ASB escalation process.
"It is hoped that the issue of this Asbo deters such individuals from continued ASB, and is a demonstration of the commitment we have as a partnership to challenge those people whose behaviour has a sustained negative impact on our communities."