A grey, miserable Monday morning; what an excellent setting for me to award my coveted "Prats of The Week" Award.
This week it goes to the police in Balham and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who decided to prosecute a schoolboy for using a rubber band to ping his mate with a piece of paper/cardboard.
Unfortunately for both boys, the paper/cardboard hit the target's eye and caused some temporary damage....Nanny then waded in....you can guess the rest.
Now read on...
The boy (12 years old), from Balham South London, was flicking bits of paper with rubber bands and hit a friend in the eye.
The paper flicking happened in June, and the boy was suspended from school for three days.
A week later Nanny called him to police station, arrested him and questioned for four hours before charging him on 20 July.
The injured boy suffered swelling and bruising to the eye and experienced some bleeding, the CPS said. That of course is highly unfortunate. However, accidents do happen and boys will flick bits of paper at each other...in my day we had "spud guns" which fired pieces of potato using compressed air.
In a statement on the case the CPS said:
"The CPS brought the initial charge
because we were informed that the boy
had lost sight in one eye.
There also appeared to be an
intention to cause harm.
When the medical evidence confirmed that
there was no permanent damage to the eye,
the charge was downgraded to assault.
After further review a decision was taken
to discontinue the case as being not in
the public interest in view of the boys'
ages and the effect of a court case on them."
The boy's solicitor Richard Conley accused the police and CPS of showing a "complete loss of perspective" on the case.
"Sadly, this is an increasingly common story
where the pressure to be seen to be taking
action results in a blinkered approach.
As well as the financial costs,
the greater cost is the loss of confidence
in and respect for the police and the
Courts that these cases cause."
The 12 year old who fired the paper, suffers from mild epilepsy, and had three "significant seizures" and required hospital treatment due to stress, his mother said.
"He was incredibly upset as
he didn't mean to hurt him,
it was a game and they were
flicking paper at each other and laughing."
Like it or not, boys do stupid things like this all the time. On the assumption that genuine remorse was shown, and that the other boy accepted that it was an accident, the actions of the police and CPS are worthy of the "Prats of The Week" Award.
However, if anyone has greater insight into this story, I would be happy to have them posted in the comments box.