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Teenagers sentenced over 'group assault' filmed on mobile phone

Teenagers sentenced over 'group assault' filmed on mobile phone

Sunday 02 April 2023

Teenagers sentenced over 'group assault' filmed on mobile phone

Sunday 02 April 2023


Three teenagers have been given restraining orders for a "group assault" on their 14-year-old classmate which was filmed on a mobile phone "for the enjoyment of others" and left the victim in hospital.

The three attackers returned to the Youth Court for sentencing on Friday — having been convicted of grave and criminal assault in a trial in February — with two given probation orders and the third bound over to keep the peace.

During the two-day trial, the court heard that the attack on the 14-year-old victim was filmed on one of the defendants' phones.

Legal Adviser Paul Lee described the incident as a "group assault", adding: "There were blows to the face – she [the victim] was assaulted while she was on the floor and the violence and humiliation was being recorded for the enjoyment of others."

Mr Lee said the victim of the attack was concerned about the possibility of seeing the three defendants in future, including a sense of fear and panic should that happen.

He asked that a restraining order be imposed until the victim turns 18.

The court also heard about a previous matter involving the youngest defendant earlier in 2022, in which a fellow pupil at their school was slapped, knocked to the floor twice and kicked.

Advocate Alana Binnie, representing the youngest defendant, said her client accepted full responsibility for the earlier attack, was shocked by her behaviour and had written a letter expressing remorse.

The court heard that the youngest attacker, who was 13 at the time of both incidents, had not been in any trouble over the past nine months.

Advocate Binnie said she was a “very bright young lady” and had “positive plans for the future, including going to university”.

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Pictured: The case was heard in the Magistrate's Court.

Advocate Ian Jones, representing the older female defendant, said his client – who was 14 at the time of the incident but had since turned 15 – was willing to do voluntary work as part of the restorative justice programme.

Advocate Sarah Dale, representing the male defendant – who had also reached the age of 15 since the incident – said he had suffered health and anxiety problems as a result of the “stressful” legal proceedings.

Imposing a six-month probation order on the youngest defendant, Magistrate Bridget Shaw said: “You have to recognise that for a few months last year your behaviour left two girls in A&E. And you must understand how serious blows to the head might be: people can die as a result, even if there was no intent.

“We want you to learn to resolve problems without becoming violent, and to direct your energy and intelligence into making a better future for yourself.”

The older female defendant, who was given a three-month probation order, was described by Mrs Shaw as someone who could be easily-led.

“You need more maturity and understanding of the world around you,” Mrs Shaw said.

The Magistrate said the male defendant was considered to be at the lowest risk of re-offending and imposed a six-month binding-over order.

Mrs Shaw said: “This may have been out-of-character, but you must be responsible for your own behaviour — you don't need to join in.”

Mrs Shaw said the panel considered a retraining order was appropriate, including that the trio should not make direct or indirect contact with the victim, not approach, follow her or enter her home and take “immediate action” to avoid a breach if they encountered her.

Any contact in an educational establishment should be “brief and minimal”, she added.

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Pictured: The attack left the victim needing hospital treatment.

The court heard that the restraining order would be in place until the four people involved would reach the end of their periods of compulsory education.

Mrs Shaw said that breaching the order would be a criminal offence that could be punished by 12 months in custody and a fine.

An order was made for costs of £1,200, split between the parents of the three defendants, with Mrs Shaw saying that payments should be suspended pending the outcome of an appeal against the convictions, which is set to be heard at a later date.

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