Serious when teen hits man ‘old enough to be his grandfather’ - judge

A teenager who assaulted a pensioner outside his own home is to be sentenced later today.

The 14-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, pleaded guilty to assaulting the man, who is in his 60’s.

The incident occurred in the Greenhaw Avenue area of the city on June 20, last year.

Derry Crown Court heard that the injured party was attempting to help a neighbour who was surrounded by a group of young men. He had opened his gate to let his neighbour in when he was assaulted.

One of the group threw punches at the elderly man and the court heard the 14-year-old struck him a blow to the back of his head, knocking his glasses off.

The teenager then left the scene and was confronted by the injured party’s wife, who witnessed the assault, a short time later.

It was revealed that the group of youths continued to assault the injured party and he received some “serious injuries”.

During interview, the 14-year-old claimed his friend had been attacked by the elderly couple and denied he had thrown a punch at anyone.

Defence counsel Nicola Coulter said the teenager’s behaviour was “born out of some kind of misguided loyalty to his friend”.

She said the 14-year-old has “expressed regret for his actions and apologised”, adding that he played no part in the more serious assault that followed.

Asjourning sentencing until today, Judge Philip Babington said it was a very serious matter for a 14-year-old to punch someone who is old enough to be his grandfather.