A distressed mum described her anger when a video of her 12-year-old son being beaten up was posted to Facebook.
The brutal video was recorded by the teenagers who attacked Josh Cooper, and shows him being wrestled to the ground and punched repeatedly around the head as he attempted to protect himself.
Josh’s friend tried to protect him, but another boy threw him to the floor, and the attacker – who is thought to attend Josh’s school – pushed him over and started viciously punching him on both sides of the head twenty-three times. The 15-year-old attacker then fled the scene.
About 40 other teenage boys and girls reportedly gathered around to watch the fight – then a 12-year-old girl uploaded the video to Facebook, where it was seen by Josh’s distraught mum, Tracy.
Josh was just minding his own business. The boy who did the attack said that Josh had been slagging off his mum, but that wasn’t true. He did it because he was bored.
Then I saw the video had been posted on Facebook, it was unbelievable. The girl who posted it was only 12.
It was just horrifying to see that happening to my son. Josh’s dad, Glen, can’t even bring himself to watch the video.
The attack happened in Wath, South Yorkshire. Josh was left battered and bruised, and was taken to Rotherham General Infirmary. They discharged him on the same evening but he was left concussed.
Miss Cooper added that Josh had been made to rewatch the video several times by the police.
The fuming mum said:
They wouldn’t even let me in the room with him when he was being interviewed because they thought I might influence what he said. He’s a lovely lad – all the girls love him, and he’s not the type to go looking for a fight.
She added: “They said that the boy who attacked Josh broke his hand, but I don’t have sympathy for that. If he’s going to hit people just because he’s bored, he needs to face the consequences.”
South Yorkshire Police cautioned the attacker, but Miss Cooper thinks her son has been treated like he was the one who’d done something wrong.
She said Josh’s school, Wath Comprehensive, asked him to stay off until his bruises had healed:
They said he’d just be drawing attention to what had happened. Josh was the victim and they were treating him like he’d done something wrong. Why should he have to miss out because of what happened to him?
On his first day back, he was a wreck. People were laughing at him and he had a lot of nasty comments.
Miss Cooper went on to say:
The physical scars have healed but the emotional ones are still there. Josh doesn’t even want to walk to the shop by himself now and he walks to long way round to get to school. That boy who did it is still walking around, thinking the whole thing is funny.
Adding: “I just want justice for my son. His attacker should have faced the youth court.”
Josh is now seeking help from a specialist victim support service to help him with his recovery.