Doncaster ‘legal highs’ shop closed over anti-social behaviour

Heads of Donny, in East Laith Gate, has been served with a closure notice by police.
Heads of Donny, in East Laith Gate, has been served with a closure notice by police.

A Doncaster town-centre shop will be closed for three months after a judge ruled it was creating anti-social behaviour problems.

Heads of Donny in East Laithgate was served with a closure notice as part of new legislation designed to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Doncaster Magistrates court heard that the shop attracted groups of youths who intimidated residents and nearby business owners.

The court also heard that shoppers would be harassed by children under the age of 18 badgering them to buy “legal high” substances from the shop that has recently moved to East Laith Gate from it’s former Scot Lane location.

Making the ruling District Judge Jonathan Bennett said: “There is clear evidence of disorder associated with youths using Heads of Donny.”

Robert Gorton the business owner said the majority of calls to police had come from staff at his shop reporting anti- social behaviour issues and police had failed to address ongoing problems.

He told the court that since opening the shop in Doncaster he and staff members had been subjected to abuse and in one incident he had a knife held to his thorat.

He said he had done everything he could to try and address issues including installing CCTV camera’s both inside and outside the shop.

He added: “80 per cent of the evidence is utter nonsense.”

Speaking on behalf of South Yorkshire Police Robert Sandford said four people who had been hospitalised on November 29 and 30 had told medis they had taken a substance from the Heads of Donny shop.

Superintendent Peter Norman said: “Police have been extremely concerned by the behaviour of some young people in the immediate area surrounding this shop.

“A number of businesses and members of the public have complained to us that the shop has been the catalyst of antisocial behaviour and disorder.”Judge Bennett said the notice was deemed necessary to prevent the nuisance or disorder from occurring, continuing or recurring.