Man who washed out swearing, homophobic boy’s mouth with soap sentenced
“The injured party was playing in the park which is close to his home address,” says Prosecutor Glenda Beck at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court. “The defendant approached him and there was an exchange of words.”
A witness says the injured party, Alfi Forsyth, 6, had called Mr Jospeh Birtwell, 23, “gay boy”.
“Ryan is walking along the road minding his own business. He is a young man who is very affable,” adds Jason Smith for the defence.
“He sees the boy run across to an old gentleman with a stick and tries to kick the stick away. He remonstrates with him to which the boy, who the police, I have to say, accept that he is slightly out of control and perhaps not the best of young individuals, says to Ryan ‘f*ck off’. Ryan says to him to stop swearing and when he doesn’t he says back ‘stop swearing or I will wash your mouth with soap,’something that used to happen in the good old days.”
“The defendant went to a shop and returned with a bar of soap,” Beck continues. “He pinned the injured party down to the floor and pushed the bar of soap into his mouth.”
Birtwell, of Washington, admitted assault and was given a 12-month conditional discharge. He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The final word is with the boys’ mother, who ofers: “I admit that my son swore and he got wrong for that, but like I said to the police at the time, kids do that kind of thing. At the end of the day, he is a 23-year-old bloke who has assaulted a six-year-old. The sentence is a joke.”
The age of the old man with the stick is not given.