Reading Teenager Spared Jail After Horrific Attack

Both children, who were from Reading, were arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm without intent, which they admitted when they appeared in Reading Crown Court, then aged 14 and 16 years.

A middle-aged cyclist suffered a heart attack and was unconscious for FOUR days after he was battered by a 12-year-old boy who performed a “flying kick” on him, a court has heard.

Both children, who were from Reading, were arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm without intent, which they admitted when they appeared in Reading Crown Court, then aged 14 and 16 years.

The young boy had joined in the attack after it was initiated by a 15-year-old, who complained their victim “got rude to me”, a judge was told.

Richard Smart had just left his local grocery store in the morning when he became embroiled in an argument with the 15-year-old boy who was angrily shouting at the middle-aged victim.

The next thing Mr Smart knew was when he woke up in hospital and discovered he had suffered a heart attack and frontal lobe damage, the court heart, following a brutal attack carried out by the children.

Both children, who were from Reading, were arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm without intent, which they admitted when they appeared in Reading Crown Court, then aged 14 and 16 years.

Barristers and Judge Edward Burgess QC did not wear gowns or wigs due to the young age of the defendants, the younger of whom was swivelling around on his chair next to his father as he awaited the sentencing.

Jai Patel, prosecuting said: “It was about 9 o’clock on Sunday May 20 when Mr Smart was on his mountain bike going to see a friend at Simply Fresh on Northumberland Avenue in Whitley, Reading.

“He left the shop after making his purchases and then he seems to have blacked out and remembers very little else of what happened to him. Indeed the next thing Mr Smart can remember is that he woke up in hospital four days later.”

The prosecutor explained that Mr Smart had bruises and marks which had healed but while he had been unconscious he had suffered a heart attack and his doctors told him he had frontal lobe damage which affected his short term memory.

Mr Patel said: “A customer at the Simply Fresh store described leaving the store and witnessing a confrontation between two people: Mr Smart and the 15-year-old.

“The 15-year-old was angry, saying ‘this is Whitley bruv, I’ll smash your windows in’.

“There was going to be some kind of fight. The 15-year-old was mouthing off,” the witness said.

The witness said the 12-year-old was near the 15-year-old,but did not say anything.

Acquiring a long piece of cable ducting from a house opposite the Simply Fresh store, the boys approached Mr Smart, who lifted his mountain bike to defend himself until someone told him to put it down.

Mr Patel added: “The 15-year-old then struck Mr Smart with his plastic pole and made two, possibly three swings towards Mr Smart.

The 12-year-old performed what is called a ‘flying kick’ on Mr Smart from behind.

“During that part of the incident, a third person arrives on a moped.

“That person immediately gets off the moped, goes straight up to Mr Smart and punches him in the face with what is described as full force.”

The court was told how all three people attacked Mr Smart until he was unconscious and then the 15-year-old started saying things like, “we whacked him up” and “he got rude to me.”

Reading from a victim impact statement by Mr Smart, Mr Patel told the court: “He feels less confident, he forgets things and that when he goes to his local shop he is worried he will see anyone involved in this incident.”

Mr Patel told the court how the 15-year-old, aged 16 years at the time of sentencing, had previous convictions including handling stolen goods, aggravated vehicle taking and a possession of a knife in a public place.

The possession of the knife was committed in October last year, after the attack on Mr Smart.

The 12-year-old, aged 14 years at the time of sentencing, had no previous convictions, Judge Burgess was told.

Defending the older youth, Michael Edmonds said: “There seem to be two sides to him: the face he likes to present to the outside world and, behind that, there is actually quite a likeable young man, but the face he presents to the outside world sometimes is not such a happy face and not such a nice face.”

Mr Edmonds explained how the boy’s mother was not able to attend court due to work commitments and so he was sat with his sister.

The lawyer added: “She does her utmost, primarily to provide for him.”

Judge Burgess said: “There are challenges for this boy in terms of getting on with people in authority and understanding they are there to help.

“When someone like him goes into custody, they are very likely to learn all sorts of very bad habits and it is very much more difficult then to get them out of the system.”

Defending the younger boy, John Riley said: “He really has shown he is very sorry for what happened.

“He seems to understand how bad it was, he wants to put it behind him and has not been in any trouble since and he is working hard to see that he stays on the straight and narrow and goes in a positive direction.”

Judge Burgess indicated he would not place either boy in custody, instead deciding to send the younger youth back to a youth court for sentencing and to give the 16-year-old a youth rehabilitation order.

The judge told them both: “What you did to Mr Smart was terrible.

“I do not care who did what. It does not matter.

“You could have killed him.

“You may think it is easy for the judge to say that, but these things do happen.

“He had a heart attack.

“He suffered life-changing injuries.

“It is easy to act tough but I expect the reality is that both of you were very scared when you got arrested.

“At one point, you were looking both at being locked up.

“It is always depressing when people as young as you two are in court and I hope the court does not have to see you again.”

Judge Burgess sentenced the older boy to a 12-month youth rehabilitation order, with a supervision requirement, 60 hours of reparation and a three-month curfew added on to one he was already serving, as well as a five-year restraining order preventing him from seeing Mr Smart.

The younger boy’s sentencing was due to take place in Reading Youth Court at a later date.

Written by Dr Jamie Branson

I provide a broad spectrum of news to View TV News whilst taking stories from the public and allowing people to hear about the real news every day of the week. Check out more at

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