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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Barrow pupil beat teacher with piece of wood at Barrow school

A TEENAGER addicted to cannabis beat a teacher with a piece of wood at a Barrow school, a court heard.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assault at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The incident happened at St Bernard’s Catholic High School, in Rating Lane, on the last day of term before Christmas, Friday December 21.

The court heard that at around 9am assistant headteacher, Mark Jones, confronted two teenagers loitering by the school gates, recognising one of them as a pupil. When he approached the pair they both ran off.

At around 11am one of the youngsters returned with a large wooden stick which he had picked up from the school drive.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Jones approached and tried to engage him in conversation.

“The boy appeared to be able to hear him but was not responding. He then walked along banging the stick on a railing.

“Mr Jones asked him to leave, and the teenager replied ‘you have to make me’.”

The youngster then struck him around the back of the head with the stick, knocking him down, then landed another blow on his right shoulder blade, magistrates heard.

The incident happened in front of numerous staff and pupils at the school, and was recorded on CCTV.

Despite the efforts of Mr Jones and fellow members of staff to restrain the youngster, his extreme aggression meant they had to release him, the court was told. Mr Jones was treated at hospital for minor injuries.

The teenager handed himself to police the following morning.

Mr Appleby said: “The boy did not have any problem with Mr Jones and, in his own words, described him as a ‘nice guy and a good teacher’. But even afterwards he has shown no remorse and no concern for Mr Jones’ welfare, only regretting the problems it has caused for himself and his family.”

The court heard how the boy had developed a weekly cannabis habit, which included the more potent form of the drug known as skunk.

Mr Michael Graham, defending, said: “Up until about 12 months ago he was described as a very talented pupil and a promising sportsman. Since then, family issues and substance abuse have created a lot of personal problems for him. The cannabis addiction has him a lot of anger problems, and he says he just lost it.”

Magistrate Mr Jim Dunn, said: “This was a deliberate and unprovoked attack on a teacher at a school.”

Mr Dunn issued the teenager with a 12-month referral order and ordered him to pay £100 compensation, a £15 victim surcharge and £40 court costs.

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