A sudden act of violence can have terrible consequences, including for innocent bystanders, in this case a 4 year old girl.
Grimsby is an unpreposessing port on the East Coast of England. Up until recently it had two claims to fame: Elton John wrote a song about it, and another lesser known songwriter, Allan Smethurst, died there. Now it has a third and most ignoble claim, last Friday, an 18 year old youth was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a 4 year old in the town’s Rutland Street. The only thing that can be said in mitigation is that she was not his intended victim.
The incident happened on April 14 when Kyle Perry, the father of Jersey-Lou Perry, got into an argument with a group – or should that be a gang – of up to 20 youths while he was sitting in his transit van. One of the group took umbrage, and heaved a brick through one of the van's window. It is not clear if he realised Mr Perry had his young daughter with him, but it is clear from the proceeding events that he didn’t care either way.
His young daughter was knocked unconscious, suffered a battered face and lost two front teeth, as in that famous children's song, but neither Mr Perry nor his terrified daughter thought it was anything to sing about. The same cannot be said for Kallan Richardson who turned up at Grimsby Youth Court on Friday where he smiled for the cameras. The case was heading for a full trial, but Richardson changed his plea to guilty at the last moment and through his solicitor made what can only be construed as a token admission of remorse.
Jersey-Lou also suffered a broken nose, and short term if not long term psychological damage; she didn't speak for twelve hours after the attack. She is now 5, and Richardson, who was 17 when the crime was committed had apparently hoped he would not be named - as is usually the case with child offenders and victims in Britain unless there are public interest or other reasons for doing so. Jersey-Lou had been named after an earlier application by her family.
Although Richardson was on bail, he had previously been remanded in custody, and was told at this hearing that he can expect a gaol sentence at his next court appearance.
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