A promising young footballer brought a kitchen knife to his school because he wanted protection against bullies, a court has heard.Not just a knife, actually.
He was found to be in possession of a five-inch blade and a bag of cannabis in a routine search at his Dagenham school on January 27.I suppose it’s so normal for kids to be caught with pot in Dagenham schools the headline didn’t see it as worthy of inclusion…
Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday how he became nervous and angry, with staff being forced to restrain him – at which point the kitchen knife was found.
He later told police: “I’ve got myself in a bit of trouble and I need it for my protection.”And how did he ‘get himself in a bit of trouble’? Well, it seems he didn’t. It seems his dad did:
The trouble, he said, came after he discovered in 2014 that his father had been convicted of a serious crime and peers began to spread rumours about his family.It’s rather telling that the phrase is ‘he discovered’ rather than ‘his father (or mother) told him’.
For the defence, Mr Modupe said the boy’s life had been negatively affected by his father’s conviction.
“He was touted as a potential star,” he said. “But after , his life started going downhill.”
Mr Modupe also said on the day of the incident a fellow student threatened to slap the boy.
“The impact of the news of his father’s past would have a devastating effect on an adult, never mind a young person,” he added.How we cope with adversity shows our true character.
The defendant, who apologised for his actions, was given a six-month referral order and told to pay a £15 victim surcharge.
Chief magistrate David Hartshorn sympathised with the boy’s situation and said there was a “great future” for him in football.Or in Wormwood Scrubs. Or in the mortuary.