FORMER Army major Charles Ingram was today found guilty of assaulting a 13-year-old youth....
He said after the verdict: "I just cannot belive they came to this verdict after the main prosecution witness lied. It means every yob in he country can get away with it.'' Giving evidence via a video link, the boy had told prosecutor Colin Meeke that he and four friends were walking along the High Street when he saw Ingram jogging towards him.
The boy said he was going to cough at Ingram as he went past, a joke in reference to Ingram's conviction for fraud on the TV quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The boy said he covered his mouth to cough, Ingram ran on a few yards, stopped then jogged back, grabbed him by his clothing and pushed him against the wall of a house.
But when questioned by Mr Berry, the boy agreed a lot of what he had said in the statement he had made to police and told Mr Meeke in court was a lie.
He agreed he had not covered his mouth but had coughed into Ingram's face, at less than an arm's length.
Charles Ingram said ": He assaulted me by deliberately aiming a single wet cough into my face and spreading his germs onto me.”
I saw his tongue during the cough and despite wearing iPod earphones I heard the cough as a sharp, loud crack.
"This shocked and intimidated me. Despite the peak of my baseball cap, I felt his spit spray into my face.”
"I wanted to go back and have a word with him because I didn't want it to appear that what he had done was acceptable behaviour."
"I thought he was going to push me against the people behind me and possibly into the road and I grabbed his clothing to prevent him continuing his assault on me."
"The things I have heard about this boy are absolutely shocking. This boy was not born to do these things to me. He learned them from his parents."
Ingram was given an absolute discharge.
Charles Ingram is no hero of mine but this conviction is an absoloute mockery. Only days ago Home secretary John Reid said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour, creating a more respectful society and re-building safer communities is a priority for this government.
“And I am heartened that every day more and more members of the public are working with the police and local councils right across the country to take action against anti-social behaviour and stand up for the rights of the law-abiding majority."
And today's lesson is when a yob spits in your face is to turn the other cheek or face prosecution.