My asbo 'menace' can be an angel, says east Hull mum
THE parents of one of the youngest boys in Hull to be given an anti- social behaviour order (asbo) have said their son is an "angel".
Ethan Armstrong, 11, has been handed the order after numerous violent assaults and foul mouthed rants at anyone who tries to tame him.
He has been causing problems in Lorenzo Way and Suddaby Close, east Hull, by climbing on garages, running through gardens and reacting violently when told to behave.
Residents have said he is a "menace" who throws sticks and stones at anyone who dares challenge him.
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But, speaking exclusively to the Mail from their home in Danthorpe Grove, east Hull, his parents, Rebecca Hart, 35, and Dean Armstrong, 38, say their son needs help, not an asbo. Miss Hart said she feels he has been unfairly tagged as a "tearaway" and fear he has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
She said: "He's not that bad really.
"I know he might do things that annoy people, and I know he's a little terror at times, but he can be a little angel. He is not a tear-away.
"We used to call him Spiderman because he would climb anything and everything – and that was not long after he started walking."
Father Dean said: "We always put it down to him being the youngest one, looking for attention you know.
"But it was obvious pretty quickly when he got to about seven there was more to it, he couldn't handle mainstream school.
"I don't think what he has done is that bad, I used to muck about as a kid, but if you do it now you get an asbo."
The boy, who currently has his leg in a plaster cast after breaking his ankle trying to do a stunt on a BMX bike, will be in breach of the order if he is abusive, insulting or threatening to anyone in Hull.
He faces being brought in front of a court and sent to prison if he enters any gardens, or climbs on any garages or roofs across the entire city and is banned from Lorenzo Way and Suddaby Close.
Ethan, who was excluded from David Lister School less than two months after he started in September, has been placed at Ashwell Pupil Referral Unit in Snowdon Way, Bransholme.
And Miss Hart refutes the allegation, which has been levelled at her, that she is a bad mother.
She said: "I have four children, one of which I am a full-time carer for, and the others have never had any involvement with the police whatsoever.
"Ethan is different and we started recognising that when he was maybe three years old.
"Certainly by the time he was seven, he was unruly, but I love him and I want the best for him.
"I was told he might have ADHD, but was then told the term was an excuse for bad parenting.
"That really upset me.
"My other kids are okay, I don't know why he is like he is."
ADHD is a neurobehavioural developmental disorder affecting three to five per cent of the world's population under the age of 19.
It typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterised by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility.
Miss Hart said: "We have had Ethan tested by our GP and we are now waiting on the results.
"In one way, I hope he is diagnosed so we can get treatment, but on the other I hope it is something he may grow out of."
Ethan said: "I know if I breach it I could get locked up and I don't want that to happen.
"As soon as I do something bad I know I shouldn't have and realise I am going to be in trouble, but I don't know why I do it in the first place."
However, people living nearby tell a different story.
One woman, who asked not to be named, said: "He is a real terror, a complete menace and he scares people around here even though he is so young and so little."
PSCO Scott Greenwood, from the Park neighbourhood policing team, said: "This boy has caused regular distress to the community with his all-round behaviour and lack of respect for other people's property.
"I am sure that residents will be delighted at the result, which shows that if they let us know about their problems we will help tackle them."
To report any breaches of asbos, call Humberside Police on 0845 6060222.