A teenager who repeatedly punched a passing ‘Good Samaritan’ in a popular park has been warned by a judge he is ‘on the cusp of becoming a dangerous young man’.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was with co-defendant Junaid Khan, 19, and two girls at Bullough Park when the incident happened in April last year.
Burnley Crown Court heard how the victim, who also cannot be named, was returning home when he was asked by one of the girls to help her drunk friend.
David Clarke, prosecuting, told the court both defendants then approached him and ‘seemed to find the whole situation rather amusing and were messing around’.
The court heard how they then became ‘more aggressive’ and the younger teenager made repeated requests to borrow the victim’s phone.
Mr Clarke said the 15-year-old then raised his fists and said ‘you’re not going to give me the ******* phone are you’ and punched him twice to the face.
Khan, of Richmond Street, Accrington, then joined with one of the girls to try to stop the violence, however they were ‘unsuccessful’ and the younger teen punched the victim at least ten more times to the face and head.
Mr Clarke said by this point the victim had already handed over his mobile phone before Khan grabbed a bag from the victim’s shoulders containing a wallet, driving licence and a pack of sausages and fled the scene.
The court heard how the victim was left ‘so angry and upset that he was punching the ground in frustration’ and, when he later told his parents, they returned to the park with him to try and get the names of the offenders.
Mr Clarke said one of the girls’ parents later spotted a conversation on social media where the 15-year-old talked about hitting the victim and said he had destroyed the SIM card of the phone to stop it being traced.
The victim suffered bruising to his face, eye and ear. Philip Barnes, defending, said the 15-year-old defendant is previously of good character, there have been no incidents since and he should be ‘dealt with in the community’.
He pleaded guilty to assault occasioning ABH and handling stolen goods and was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order.
Khan, who admitted theft, was given a 12-month conditional discharge, ordered to pay £200 compensation and £100 costs.
'Cusp of becoming a dangerous young man'
Judge Beverley Lunt said it was a ‘serious assault’ and that she is ‘worried’ about the younger defendant teenager being in society.
She told the court: “This boy is on the cusp of becoming quite a dangerous young man.
“He uses anger and intimidation to demonstrate control over situations, he has no respect for his parents, feels he can do as he wishes, and throws items around and shouts at mum using expletives.
“He is on the border of being in front of me a lot. I worry about him being in society and this is a very nasty offence.”
Sentencing, she warned the teenager: “You are on the cusp of growing up and either accepting assistance being offered or becoming a problem to the community and will appear before me a lot and go to prison a lot. This was a very, very nasty incident. I’m extremely worried about what I read about your behaviour and when you are out on the streets getting drunk.
“You need some very strict controls and measures and the youth offending team will put these controls in place.
“This is the only chance you’re going to get. If you come back before me I will send you away.”