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Old Lady, 103, Given ASBO

A 103-year-old woman has been given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) for walking too slowly.

Dozens of complaints were received about Betty Smith leisurely frequenting pedestrian crossings and holding up traffic.

One motorist told Coventry Magistrates’ Court: “I was driving to work when I saw a lady waiting at a zebra crossing. I stopped to let her walk across, but she was walking so slowly, I very nearly had to honk my horn!”

Another motorist said she had stopped at a pelican crossing as the lights were turning red, but by the time they were flashing amber, Smith was “only halfway across” and by the time they had turned green “she still had a few feet to go”.

The enraged motorist added: “She made me late for my nail appointment!”

Thanks to her ASBO, Smith is now banned from walking around in urbanised areas and has been warned that if she is caught doing so she faces five years in a maximum-security prison.

She has also been told that if she wishes to travel around town in future she must use an electric buggy and keep it at a minimum speed of 15mph.

We, here at The Taxman, declined the offer of an interview with the pensioner for fear she may talk as slowly as she walks.

Under laws introduced by the New Labour government, ASBOs are used to criminalise drunks and over-exuberant youths. But the law’s blurred definition of anti-social behaviour has had unexpected consequences.

Other members of the public given ASBOs include a milkman accused of ‘wielding glass bottles at an unsociable hour’ and a zookeeper branded ‘irresponsible’ for being ‘unable to control his noisy pets’.


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