Man stamped on boy’s head during ‘unprovoked attack’
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 July 2016
A 40-year-old man who attacked a schoolboy in Weston-super-Mare by stamping on his head because he was ‘having a bad day’ has been jailed for the ‘unprovoked and sustained’ assault.
The victim, who has been granted legal anonymity due to his young age, was just 15 at the time and says he is afraid to leave the house since the ordeal.
At North Somerset Courthouse on Friday, the court heard how the victim was walking over the Bristol Road flyover at about 3.15pm on March 9.
Jared Watkinson, of Greenhill Road in Sandford, was cycling towards him on the footpath and knocked into the boy.
Lucy Coleman, prosecuting, told the court how Watkinson got off his bike, pushed the boy to the floor and kicked him the chest, before stamping repeatedly on his head.
She said: “This was an unprovoked and sustained attack on a youth.
“The victim says he curled up in the foetal position and his head was hitting against the floor.”
Watkinson then picked the boy up and pushed him against the railings, facing over the edge.
In the boy’s account, read out in court, he said: “He was trying to push me over the railings. I was terrified he would get me over the edge and throw me onto the carriageway.
“I grabbed hold of the rail to try to stop myself going over.”
Watkinson stopped when a passer-by pulled over and started walking towards the pair.
The boy was taken to hospital with a cut to the wrist, a black eye, swelling to the eye socket and cuts to his chin.
The victim read a statement to the court, saying how he had become ‘introverted’ since the attack. He said: “I do not want to leave the house at night, which has had an affect on my social life because it prevents me from seeing my friends.
“I spent my 16th birthday in a police station talking about the incident rather than celebrating with my loved ones.
“The incident happened while I was studying for my GCSEs and it was very difficult going to court. Hearing the defendant deny my story and say I was a liar was very hard, I felt helpless.
“I was and still am scared of the attacker.”
Watkinson told the probation service he only ‘lowered’ the boy to the floor and did not try to push him over the railings, and said the boy should be ‘relieved he wasn’t left with more injuries’.
Sue Cameron, defending, told the court Watkinson, who has no previous convictions, was on the way to visit his gravely ill father.
She said: “He had been having a bad day and he had recently quit smoking, which he says put him on edge.
“He says the victim has nothing to fear from him and this is very much a one-off and there will be no repetition.
“I would ask the court to take mercy on a man of good character.”
Watkinson was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and is subject to an indefinite restraining order so he cannot approach the victim.
He was also ordered to pay £400 compensation to the boy.