Youths who assaulted cyclists are sentenced

11/03/2013

Two youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have today been sentenced at Wolverhampton Youth Court for assaulting nine cyclists along a canal towpath.

Over a seven day period in September last year, the two youths, who are aged 15 and 14, pushed the cyclists into canals in the Wolverhampton area.

Following a police investigation, officers later attended a school in the area and arrested the15-year-old. Today he was sentenced for offences of theft, a racially aggravated public order offence, assaulting a person thereby occasioning actual bodily harm and four counts of common assault.

The 14-year-old had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of common assault.

The 15-year-old was sentenced to a 12 months Detention and Training Order. He was also made the subject of a Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Order to run for a period of 2 years which prohibits him from going onto any canal towpath within the Borough of Wolverhampton. There was no order made for costs or compensation in light of his immediate custodial sentence.

The 14-year-old was sentenced to a 12 month Referral Order and ordered to pay compensation to both his victims. He similarly was made the subject of a Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Order to run for a period of 2 years which prohibits him from going onto any canal towpath within the Borough of Wolverhampton.

John Baker from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"These two defendants were part of a gang of youths who terrorised the canal towpaths in and around Wolverhampton.

 "They thought that it would be funny to push cyclists off their bikes and into the canal.  However, there was nothing funny in what they did, in fact what they were doing was committing serious criminal acts for which today they have been punished.

"Some of the victims suffered some serious injuries, which included broken bones as well as cuts and bruises. They were fortunate that they did not suffer any life threatening injuries.

 "Cyclists, runners and walkers all have the right to use public roads and paths safely. They do not expect or deserve to be assaulted or racially abused for entertainment purposes; as indeed was what happened in this case.

"I would urge members of the public to report such crimes to the police immediately. We will do our utmost to ensure that those found responsible for committing such crimes are brought to justice."