11-year-old boy convicted of racially aggravated assault
27 Jul 2009 by CST
A boy of 11 has pleaded guilty to a charge of racially aggravated assault after leading a gang attack on a Jewish man in Gateshead:
A SCHOOLBOY aged just 11 beat-up a Jewish man because of his religion.
The school-aged attacker launched himself at the victim in his late 20s landing a punch on him outside the synagogue, on Bewick Road, Gateshead.
After spearheading the onslaught, the 11-year-old stepped to the side as a gang of older attackers piled-on the isolated man, leaving him bloodied.
The child-attacker is now at the start of a four month supervision order made by magistrates at Blaydon youth court, after pleading guilty to racially-aggravated assault by beating at an earlier hearing.
The court heard that the attacker, from the central area of Gateshead, was stood outside the Gateshead Hebrew Congregation, at the junction of Bewick Road and Rydal Street in Bensham, Gateshead, with a group of older males.
The youth squared up to a Jewish man after older lads urged him on in March this year.
Prosecutor Justin Gibson said: He assaulted him. The other males at the location jumped on the injured person and assaulted him.
The age of the defendant is shocking enough. Some of the other details in the report suggest that antisemitism actually plays a relatively small role in the wider story:
The court heard that the youngster had been involved in drugs and alcohol.
After reading reports, chairman Doug Howell said: It says here you havent used cannabis for a while.
At your age, I cant understand how you can get your hands on alcohol or drugs at all. Dont do it.
Defending, Kate Lewis, told the court her child client was genuinely sorry and planned to apologise in person to the victim. She added the 11-year-old had been suspended then expelled from a school in Gateshead. Since failing to make a trial period of attending two days a week, the family had moved to another part of Tyneside.
She added that her client had tested negative for attention deficit disorder, but psychologists were still working to get to the root of his problems.
The defendants mother really has done all she can to control and address his behaviour, Mrs Lewis said.
She contacted social services and Barnados to get them involved, the lawyer added.
The young attacker was also bound to a substance misuse intervention programme.