An antisocial behaviour order slapped on a homeless alcoholic for 99 years for a series of racially aggravated assaults has been branded "absurd".

The National Association of Parole Officers said the record Asbo would do little other than lead to the jailing of the man, who suffers from mental health problems.

The Asbo was imposed on Michael Gilligan, 49, after he pled guilty last week to verbal and physical attacks on Afro-Caribbean guards at a Somerfield supermarket in Glasgow's Gorbals district.

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The previous record is understood to have been a 20-year Asbo served on Olga Conco, a 34-year-old from Hackney in London.

The incidents occurred during the summer and were compiled by both the police and the city's Multi-agency Racist Incidents Monitoring Group (Marim), with the procurator- fiscal applying for the order when Gilligan was sentenced last Tuesday.

The order, issued by Sheriff Gillian Bryson, bans Gilligan from entering or loitering near the shop, with the criminal rather than civil nature of the Asbo meaning he can be arrested on the spot if he even enters the car park.

The order against Gilligan can only be withdrawn after further legal process.

But Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Parole Officers, who also speaks on behalf of his membership north of the border, said the Asbo simply made it inevitable that Gilligan would be jailed sooner or later.

He said: "This situation needs a welfare solution and not something which inevitably will lead to him ending up back in court and then incarceration.

"It's absurd expecting a homeless alcoholic to abide by this until he's 148. What he needs as a matter of urgency is treatment, no matter how difficult an individual he is."

But police officers in the area were much more welcoming of the move.

Superintendent Mike Deans, one of the most senior officers on Glasgow's south side, said: "We believe this is the first time a criminal Asbo has been used to deal with racially aggravated behaviour in Glasgow.

"It allows us to deal more quickly and it is more reassuring for the victims."