The dad of a teen who was named and shamed as an Asbo lout has claimed his son is simply "misunderstood".Riiiiiight…
A court was told how Harwood had racially abused and attacked shopkeepers in Central Parade, hit golf balls at passers-by for kicks and threatened shoppers when they refused to buy cigarettes for him.Not a lot to ‘misunderstand there, is there?
But his ‘father’ thinks otherwise:
The 50-year-old told the Advertiser: "I think it is unfair what has been said about Tommie, he is only young.Is it? I certainly didn’t!
"He hasn't caused any problems for a year and I think we are being victimised by the police.
"It is annoying me that the police are being so persistent.
"I don't want people to think he is a lout. He is misunderstood.
"Tommie has been given his Asbo and now the police should leave him alone. He got in trouble, but all kids do that. It is only natural."
Some of my friends did, it’s true. Minor shoplifting, a bit of graffiti and on one occasion, a fight with another school that got out of hand.
But racial abuse, physical assault of strangers, adult strangers? Nope, never. Our parents would have given us hell for such…
Oh! I see the problem now.
Police say they have had to endure years of trouble from him, which started at the age of 12, but his father maintains the criticism is unfair.‘Tommie’s mum Kerry’. Not ‘my wife’, or even the more modern ‘my partner’. Says it all, eh?
He said: "It feels like we are being victimised.
"Tommie's mum Kerry has seven children, and they want to move her from where she lives, all because one of her children has behaved badly.
"That doesn't seem fair. All that would do is shift the problem elsewhere."
Mr Harwood, who admits he has "had dealings with the police" himself in the past, added: "Children will get into trouble, every kid goes through this phase. I did when I was young, but I think it is just a phase.One could say that being born to a ‘father’ like this, and a mother clearly less fit to be termed that than an alley cat, is punishment, certainly…
"I think the police are doing a good job around here, but they need to leave Tommie alone now.
"He has been punished enough."