ASBO schoolboy Ben Brettoner has been tamed after forging a friendship with birds of prey.
Ben, aged 15, is taking part in The ‘Kes’ Project,- an eight week course, to get back on the straight and narrow.
He is following in the footsteps of fictional youngster Billy Casper, star of 70s cult film, Kes about a boy from Barnsley who trains a kestrel.
Ben, who is the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, was a pupil at Barnsley’s Edward Sheerian school, now Carlton Community College, where parts of the film were shot.
The youngster, of Athersley North, Barnsley, said: “I was messing about in school and it spilled over to messing about outside school.
“I am really enjoying the course.
“My behaviour has improved because I’ve found something I’m interested in and I’m a lot happier.
“My favourite bird is a Harris hawk and the best part of the course is flying the birds.
“I became interested in birds of prey because my brother has a Harris hawk and so I had a bit of knowledge before I started the course.”
Ben, who is studying for GCSEs in maths and English, hopes to get a job in the falconry world.
Chris Corker, who keeps and shows birds of prey, and came up with the idea said: “I called it The Kes Project because the idea came to me at the school where Kes was filmed. It seemed appropriate because we had a young lad from Barnsley dealing with birds of prey.”
The course is funded by the college and has been fitted around Ben’s school work. He has been set guidelines on his behaviour.