Romford video assault: Third defendant ‘blackmailed by gang member’ before beating up boy in Raphael Park woods
- Credit: British Banter Facebook group
A teenager who kicked a 15-year-old boy in a group attack recorded in a viral video was blackmailed by “a gang member”, a court heard.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced at Barkingside Youth Court today after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm.
The 15-year-old victim, who came to the park to buy cannabis, owed money to an older man living on the defendant’s street. He is heard in the video asking the victim “Do you have the money?” on speakerphone before telling the group to “smack him”.
The man, described as “well known in the area”, threatened the defendant, making it explicit he knew where he lived, the court was told.
The teenager’s solicitor told the magistrates: “He didn’t want to assault anyone at that point. Another boy jumped in first and hit him and I put it down to the mentality of the pack.
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“He felt immediately sick and remorseful. He helped the victim up and stood him up against a tree and shouted to his friends to get some help.”
In the dock, the teenager told the magistrates he was sorry and would like to be able to apologise to the victim’s family.
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“I will never do anything like it ever again,” he promised.
His family received “horrendous” deaths threats in the wake of the incident on July 21 in Raphael Park, Romford, and were afraid of leaving their home, the magistrates heard.
His mother described the effect this had on the family as “a nightmare” and told the bench her son had been going through “a bad time”.
In November last year, one of his friends was stabbed and after appearing in court as a witness, the defendant threatened to “carve him up”.
In June, the 17-year-old was sentenced after giving a “karate style kick” to another boy, which broke his leg in two places.
At the time of the July attack, the defendant had not begun work with a youth offending officer.
Described in court as “deeply-intelligent, hard-working, polite and studious, but an anxious person”, he took eight GSCEs and is hoping to go on to study architecture at university.
“He no longer speaks to the other boys and is trying to move on. There is more to him than these offences,” his solicitor told the court.
The bench chairman told the teenager he had passed the custodial threshold and both attacks were “very serious”.
“If ever you break the rules again, you will be going down those stairs to prison. Keep yourself out of trouble, keep working and respect your family and your values. I don’t want to see you back here again,” he added.
Since starting his previous referral order, the teenager has not missed one appointment and has found employment. He attended court today with £200 in his pocket, anticipating he would have to pay compensation to the victim.
He was sentenced to an 18 months referral order with the youth offending service, under supervision, and a curfew from 8pm to 6am for the next two months. He is also due to pay £205 in compensation and court costs.