THE son of North-East comedy legend Bobby Thompson has been branded a drunken pest.

Robert Thompson has been given an Anti-social Behaviour Order (Asbo) after magistrates heard of a catalogue of booze-related crimes.

He now joins the Asbo hall of shame, which is mainly populated by persistent yobs and young criminals .

The court had heard of dozens of drunk and disorderly offences committed by 54-year-old Thompson, many of which were committed in South Tyneside as he travelled around the area on the Metro rail system.

Such was the frequency of the alcohol-fuelled trouble that the court decided to sentence Thompson to a criminal version of the order - known as a Crasbo - when it convicted him of assaulting a police officer, three counts of being drunk and disorderly and twice failing to surrender to bail.

The case was heard earlier this month, when Thompson appeared under his new name of Michael Barlow, changed by deed poll because he is a fan of former Take That pop star Gary Barlow.

After hearing the evidence put to them, magistrates took the rarely-used step of imposing the Crasbo, which means he could face up to five years behind bars if he breaches any of four specific prohibitions. They are:

* Drinking or being under the influence of alcohol in a public place;

* Using abusive or insulting words to the annoyance of any other person in any public place;

* Being involved in any activity likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress;

* Inciting or encouraging any person to engage in any activity likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, or involve himself with any person so engaged.

Thompson, of Azalea Terrace, Sunderland, spends his days moving from pub to pub on the Metro, from which he is banned.

His father Bobby, born on Wearside, was a massive favourite on the North-East club circuit, known as the Little Waster, making him the region's best-paid comic of the 1970s and a TV regular.

He lost his battle against cancer in 1988 at the age of 76.