Newport boy spared jail after string of violent assaults

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Image caption,
The trial took place in the youth court at Cwmbran Magistrates' Court

A boy from Newport has been spared a custodial sentence after he admitted a string of violent assaults, including one against a woman in her seventies.

Cwmbran Youth Court heard the boy, 12, pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, criminal damage, attempted robbery and three counts of assault by beating.

He was given an intensive referral order for 10 months and his father will have to pay £500 in damages.

The boy cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The court heard the child punched a teenage boy in the face, chipping his tooth and leaving him "scared to leave his house".

He also attacked a woman in her seventies as she waited for a bus at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, where her husband had just been diagnosed with cancer.

'Flash of red'

She said she saw a "flash of red" before the boy made contact with her and inflicted soft tissue damage to her wrist, elbow and wrists.

"He has too much to worry about himself - I know only hope my injury will not hamper me visiting my husband during his last days," she said.

"I'm elderly and I just don't need this. I need to stay strong for my family."

The boy also pulled a wing mirror off a car in Newport city centre and assaulted a girl by kicking her backside.

The court was told the boy had no previous convictions, and a pre-sentence report from the youth offending service suggested he should be sentenced to an "intensive referral order".

Defending, Andrea Nash-Harding argued it was "a short spell of bad behaviour" from "a young man who has found it difficult to integrate" after moving to the UK.

'Psychological harm'

During sentencing, Judge David Parsons said: "They are of course serious offences, where for an adult it would be a custodial sentence measured in years.

"Each one of the victims of your violence have suffered physical and psychological harm.

"The guidance is that sentence should focus on the child, as opposed to the offence, with emphasis on rehabilitation."

He added: "This will be your only chance."

The boy will have a minimum of three hours contact a day with the youth offending service to "engage in education and constructive activities".