Man who hit 13-year-old is spared jail

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A 42-YEAR-OLD man who punched a teenage boy in the face has been given a six-month suspended sentence after a Magistrate decided it ‘would not help anyone’ if he was locked up.

The assault took place in August last year when the 13-year-old boy and his mother, who were travelling on a bus from the Airport after returning to the Island from a holiday, sat in front of Darren Carboulec.

St Helier Centenier Paul Davies, prosecuting, told the Magistrate’s Court that the boy rested his head on a travel pillow and Carboulec pulled at it, which the boy thought was simply a playful gesture.

But the Centenier said: ‘He got up and punched the boy on the right-hand side of the face.’

He said the assault had not caused lasting physical damage but had been psychologically damaging.

He added that on 19 February, the States police had been called to an address in St Helier following reports of a disturbance. Carboulec was arguing with a man and was told to leave the area but came back moments later.

In the Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Carboulec admitted two separate offences of assault and disobeying a States police officer’s order.

Advocate Paul Nicholls, defending, said: ‘He is genuinely remorseful.’

Of the assault on the teenager, he added: ‘He can’t properly explain why it took place.’

Magistrate Bridget Shaw told Carboulec: ‘For a child sitting on a bus with his mother, it was very frightening for an adult male to come over and punch him in the face.’

She accepted there had been no lasting physical injury but said: ‘The psychological effect is much longer term.’

The court heard that Carboulec had cut down on his drinking since the incidents and was in stable accommodation. Mrs Shaw added: ‘You are in a much better position now than you were last August, and I want you to maintain this position.’

She suspended his sentence for the assault for a year, saying: ‘l don’t think actually sending you to prison is going to help anyone.’

There was no separate penalty for disobeying a police officer.

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