14-year-old boy beaten and threatened with death in Codicote

PUBLISHED: 16:13 03 October 2011




A 14-YEAR-OLD schoolboy was “threatened with death” and had his glasses stamped on, by a man who brutally attacked him in an alleyway near his home.

Ryan Skipper, 14, had just got off the 314 bus in Codicote last Friday afternoon (September 23) and was walking home to Bentick Way through the alleyway, when a stranger grabbed him round the neck and beat him about the head.

His mum Tina Toal told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “A man in his mid-thirties with black spiky hair and dark sunglasses grabbed hold of him and ripped his glasses off him and stamped on them.

“He slammed Ryan up against the fence and said to him ‘when you go into school next week make sure you say sorry to whoever you’ve been horrible to, or next time I will kill you and your family’.”

But, despite the apparent revenge motive, Mrs Toal said her son had no idea who the man was and kept pleading for him to stop the attack and yelling: “Sorry, I don’t know what I’m supposed to have done.”

Ryan arrived on the doorstep “in an awful state” and was badly shaken by the assault.

His mum also criticised the police’s slow response to the family’s repeated calls for assistance.

She said despite the attack taking place at 4.25pm and her husband John making a 999 call just after, police failed to turn up until more than three hours later, at 7.45pm.

Assistant manager of the Hertfordshire Constabulary’s communications room, Jason Baxter, said: “Police received a report that a boy had been assaulted in Codicote at around 4.30pm on Friday, September 23.

“Officers were not dispatched on an immediate response as the victim was safe at home and not believed to be in any danger.”

He added: “As a police force we have finite resources and have to prioritise our responses accordingly.

“In this case there was no immediate danger to life or property, and the crime was no longer in progress.”

■ Anyone with information on the attack should call police via non-emergency number, 101, quoting crime reference G1/11/2705.

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