Teen asylum-seekers sentenced for attack on Sheffield man who 'racially abused' them

Two teenage Sheffield asylum-seekers have been sentenced at Crown Court today for leaving a man they claim 'racially abused' them with a fractured jaw.
Two teenage Sheffield asylum-seekers have been sentenced at Crown Court today for leaving a man they claim 'racially abused' them with a fractured jaw.
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Two teenage Sheffield asylum-seekers have been sentenced at Crown Court today for leaving a man they claim racially abused them with a fractured jaw.

Sheffield Crown Court was told how at around 6.30pm on November 16, 2015 a young dad became involved in an altercation with a 13-year-old and 14-year-old boy as he went to walk to his friend's car that was parked outside his address in Low Edges.

The older of the two boys, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons, was the man's neighbour at the time of the offence, the court heard.

Prosecuting, Jim Baird, told the court that the man walked past the two young defendants and believed he had been deliberately 'shoulder budged' by one of them.

He said: "The complainant accepted that he had remonstrated with the defendants that involved contact and meant that he was then punched in the face, causing him to fall to the floor."

Mr Baird told the court that once the man had fallen to the floor the two defendants, who are now 16 and 17-years-old, then proceeded to kick and stamp 'about his head and body'.

Following the attack, the man was taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries which included a fractured jaw, bruising to his leg and the displacement of his two front teeth, for which he says he had to undergo root canal surgery.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, he said that the fact the incident happened outside his own home and had been witnessed by his pregnant partner and his three-year-old daughter had impacted on him and his family.

He continued by saying he was now 'worried when he stepped outside his house'.

The two boys were arrested after the man's partner called police to the scene.

In police interview, the 14-year-old boy said he had already been 'racially abused' and punched by his neighbour by the time he struck him.

Defending the older of the two boys, Matthew Stanbury, said the boy had come to Sheffield to seek asylum after being orphaned as a result of conflict in Afghanistan.

Mr Stanbury said the boy had been housed near to his complainant with a family in Low Edges, an area Mr Stanbury described as having low levels of ethnic and cultural diversity.

He said this had subsequently resulted in the boy and his new family being resented and made to feel unwelcome in the area by a number of residents, including the complainant in this case.

"The boy had been told not to look at his [neighbour's] house, and had been told to look at his feet when he went past," said Mr Stanbury.

The younger of the two boys, was also orphaned and arrived in the country in 2013 to seek asylum, reiterated his friend's version of events when interviewed by police.

Both boys pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm at an earlier hearing.

Recorder David Dixon made both boys the subject of a one-year rehabilitation order and ordered them to complete 40 hours of unpaid work each.

He said: "You are both without previous convictions. You both arrived in this country hoping for a better life, and based on the information received, you were not given the welcome to Sheffield you should have."

Recorder Dixon continued by telling the two boys that while they may have initially acted in self-defence, that they had taken the attack way beyond what was unacceptable.

He noted that neither had been in trouble since the incident, particularly since the older of the two boys had moved out of Low Edges.