A court heard how a teenager who broke his victim’s jaw in two places in a playground assault has taken “significant steps” to get ready for the adult world.
Defence solicitor Paul Ralph told Perth Sheriff Court that the 16-year-old – who can’t be named for legal reasons – is now keen to join the Army and has had an initial interview.
The teenager had previously been sentenced to carry out 136 hours of unpaid work after admitting assault to severe injury, which left the 12-year-old victim requiring surgery to rebuild his face with metal plates.
The court had heard the youngster could not eat for six weeks following the assault, which took place at lunchtime in the playground of a Perth school in March last year.
Depute Fiscal John Malpass had said the assault arose following an argument over a pack of cigarettes.
“During school hours a packet of cigarettes was stolen from the accused’s locker by a friend of the complainer,” he said.
“The complainer and some friends were walking to a nearby snack van. As they walked across the grounds they witnessed the accused walking towards them.
“The complainer told him he had taken the cigarettes. He decided to take the blame as he thought he would not be harmed due to the accused knowing his brother.”
Mr Malpass had told the court the accused then punched the boy in the face without warning, knocking him to the ground. The court heard that school friends tried to get the boy to his feet but he was unable to stand and was bleeding heavily from his mouth.
The depute fiscal had said the 12-year-old boy’s jaw was broken in two places and that he needed surgery to repair the damage, which led to him having metal plates inserted into his face.
On Wednesday, Mr Ralph told the court his client had taken “significant steps” to prepare himself for the adult world.
“My client has taken a look at his life and is keen to join the Army, having had an initial interview,” he said.
Sheriff Gillian Wade told the teenager: “This background report is very positive and shows you have done everything – perhaps more – that has been asked of you, and you’ve made inroads to get into the Army.”
She ordered the 16-year-old to carry out another 64 hours of unpaid work as part of a community payback order.