20th Oct, 2017

Child's jaw broken in unprovoked Coventry street attack

Coventry Editorial 22nd Jun, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A COVENTRY youngster has had to undergo two operations after his jaw was broken in two places when he was repeatedly kicked to the face in an unprovoked street attack.

One of the 15-year-old’s attackers laughed at the fact that he did not know their victim, a judge heard.

Teenagers Kyle Tierney and Joshua Gardner both pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the younger boy with intent to cause him serious injury.

Tierney (16) of Lower Holyhead Road, Coventry, who launched the attack, was sentenced to four years and five months detention after being given credit for his plea.

Gardner (16) of The Moorfield, Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry, who joined in after their victim had been knocked to the ground, was given a slightly shorter sentence of four years.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said the the 15-year-old, who Judge Sylvia de Bertodano ordered should not be identified because of his age, had been walking with his girlfriend in Stoke Aldermoor.

They were approached by Tierney and Gardener, who were in a group of youths, and Tierney asked him: “Are you …?”

The boy was confused by that because he did not recognise either of them, although his girlfriend did, and did not know how they would know his name.

Tierney then punched him hard to the face twice, knocking him to the ground where both he and Gardner kicked him repeatedly to the face.

Each of them landed five or six kicks, and the 15-year-old felt his jaw crack.

His girlfriend bravely went to his aid and pushed the defendants away– and as they went back to join their group Gardner laughed and said: “I don’t know who he is.”

Metal plates had to be screwed into his jaw to hold it in place and were removed in second operation.

When they were arrested the next day, Tierney admitted punching the youngster, but denied kicking him, and Gardner denied any involvement.

Mr Simpson added that in February Tierney was given a 12-month detention and training order for robbery and possessing an offensive weapon, and Gardner was on bail at the time for two burglaries.

Amy Jackson, for Tierney, said: “His only real mitigation is his guilty plea and his age..”

She said that at the time Tierney was having difficulties in his relationship with his mother and he was moved out of the family home at 15, but since being in custody his anger and family issues had been addressed and he had taken GCSE exams.          Peter McCartney, for Gardner, said: “He got himself involved, it seems, out of loyalty to his friend.  He played a subsidiary role.”

Sentencing the two, Judge de Bertodano told them: “What gripe it was you had with him doesn’t matter in the least.

“… It is fortunate that there were no lasting effects.  If you kick someone to the head while they’re on the ground, you can kill them.  That is what makes this offence so serious.

“… The message has to go out that when teenagers act in this way, then detention is the only possible outcome in all but the most exceptional cases.”

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