Friday, March 7, 2008

Liverpool - Happy slap thug jailed

Happy slap thug jailed

A TEENAGER who was part of a gang who carried out a “happy slapping” attack on a teenager has been locked up.

Alan Brown was with three others when they picked on their 14-year-old old victim simply because of his distinctive “goth” style.

Liverpool crown court heard what may have started as “fun and play”, quickly turned nasty.

The group soon began to punch their young victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and he fell to the ground.

Witnesses reported seeing Brown and another thug kick the youngster as he lay on the ground attempting to protect his head. At least one of the group filmed the attack on their mobile phone.

Yesterday Judge David Aubrey QC condemned the assault, saying he wanted to send a message to other youths, warning courts would clamp down on such attacks.

He sentenced Brown, 19, of Maiden Lane, Clubmoor, to 15 months in a young offenders institution.

Judge Aubrey said: “It may be that such cases, referred to by others as happy slapping when it is of course no such thing, may have originated elsewhere, but the message that must go out is that such behaviour will not be tolerated by courts in this city.”

He told Brown: “I must put a sentence that not only deters you but other youths.”

Judge Aubrey told the tall, well-built teenager that the fact the group had specifically targeted such a young boy, particularly because of the way he was dressed, was also an aggravating feature.

The court heard the young victim had been relaxing with friends on grass near the Liver Building, when Brown and his gang had approached, teasing him because of his “goth” style.

Although he only suffered minor injuries in the attack, the court heard he had been left frightened and scared and no longer wished to visit the city centre.

Unemployed Brown had pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual harm on April 21, 2007, but he was convicted by a jury.

No other members of the group have been caught.

Interesting to note that Riuven's song the Liv was all the rage in Liverpool at the time of the attack see:

"I have em all off" - RiUvEn and Goth battering