A schoolboy who stabbed another teenager told a court how he ‘snapped’ following a persistent campaign of bullying, a court heard.
The defendant, who was just 15 at the time of the assault in September last year, had been ‘pushed to the limit’ and had acted violently because of anger over an earlier attack and previous incidents.
The boy, who pleaded guilty to charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of the knife, lashed out with the knife after he had been earlier attacked and put in a headlock in the village of Linthwaite, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.
The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was subject to ‘persistent and serious bullying’ by the complainant, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.
A schoolboy who stabbed another teenager told a court how he ‘snapped’ following a persistent campaign of bullying, Bradford Crown Court heard
The defendant claimed the 16-year-old stabbing victim and his friends had been responsible for previous incidents of violence towards him.
In his evidence to the judge the defendant, now 16, described a series of incidents including attacks during which he had been stamped on and hit in the face with something like a crowbar.
The defendant claimed the bullying began with shoulder-barging and name-calling and said he felt like there was nothing he could do about it.
On the afternoon of the stabbing, the defendant and the complainant were involved in an argument during which the schoolboy was accused of ‘spreading rumours’ by the older boy.
The defendant claimed the other boy, who also cannot be identified for legal reasons, told him he had a knife and, after being put in the headlock, the defendant then took a knife from his friend’s bag.
The complainant and others left the scene at that time, but by chance there was a second confrontation in the Linthwaite area, West Yorkshire, after the schoolboy got out of a car to make his way home.
The defendant, who was just 15 at the time of the assault in September last year in the village of Linthwaite, had been ‘pushed to the limit’ and had acted violently because of anger over an earlier attack (file photo)
After stabbing his victim in the stomach, the teenager got back in the car and left, but he later handed himself in to the police after telling his mother he had stabbed someone.
The court heard the complainant had declined to make a statement and although his injuries were potentially life-threatening he had been expected to make a full recovery.
Defending, Geraldine Kelly said there was evidence that shortly before the stabbing, the complainant and his friends had been watching a mobile phone recording of the earlier attack on her client that afternoon.
She submitted her client had committed the offences that day after being ‘pushed to limit’.
Imposing a one-year youth rehabilitation order, Recorder Simon Kealey QC explained he had been impressed by a reference from the school principal which described the defendant as a ‘very likeable and bright young man who had the potential to achieve good GCSEs’.
The judge said the mitigation in the case was ‘substantial’ and told the teenager: ‘You were 15 years of age at the time of this offence. You had been, as I find, the subject of persistent and serious bullying in and around your school.
‘You simply lacked the maturity to be able to deal with this as an adult would have done. You sought simply to hide from this and that allowed it to continue and to increase.
‘It increased and became worse to the extent that you were unable to deal with that emotionally due to your maturity and it’s for that reason principally that you found yourself with a knife in your hand on that street that afternoon.’
The judge said the risk of the boy re-offending was low and he said he had to bear in mind the overarching principles for dealing with children and young people.
Recorder Kealey said the youth rehabilitation order was a direct alternative to custody and it was not meant to be a soft option.
As part of the order the teenager will have to comply with a three-month electronically-monitored nighttime curfew and complete an extended activity requirement.
The teenager will also be subject intensive supervision and surveillance for the next year.