A schoolgirl driven to the brink of suicide by the taunts of a racist classmate described her tormentor’s sentence as "pants" after he was allowed to walk free from court. The victim, a 14-year-old mixed race girl, was repeatedly insulted with racist terms for six months by a 15-year-old, BNP supporting fellow pupil.
Last month the boy became the first school child to be convicted of racially aggravated harassment of a fellow pupil following a trial at Lincoln Youth Court. The conviction prompted questions over whether such racist bullying should be dealt with through criminal law or by schools themselves.
The boy could have been detained for up to two years in a young offenders’ institution but he was instead sentenced to a six month supervision order and made to pay £500 compensation to the girl, which will be paid by his father. He was also instructed to do 10 hours indirect reparation, the equivalent of community service. Another 15-year-old boy facing the same charge was found not guilty after a trial.
The victim, who tried to kill herself with an overdose of stress pills and painkillers, said she was "disappointed" with the sentence. She said: "When my mum told me the sentence I just thought 'Is that it? That's pants.' He has got a slap on the wrists and been told he was a naughty boy - that's all. He has not paid the price for what he has put me through and he will never have to suffer like I have. I want him to be out into a multi-cultural school where he is one of the only white pupils to see what it feels like to be in the minority. I want him to be in my shoes and see how he copes with that."
The girl, who is of mixed white English and black African heritage, was called "wog", "coon", "nigger", "gorilla" and "golliwog" by the boy. She also suffered abusive chants of "white, white, white is right, kick them out, fight, fight, fight" and was repeatedly told: "Go back to your own country, you don't belong here."
She wrote a suicide note and took an overdose on Jan 25 this year. She was then sectioned for six weeks in a psychiatric hospital before the family moved to a different part of the country.
After the sentencing her mother said: "He has ruined her life. This will be with her forever and she cannot just pick up and start again. We will always have the problem of mental health issues. He bullied her to the extent she actually wanted to die but he had no remorse. When he was found guilty we were on a high and thought we would finally get justice. But now we feel we have put ourselves out there and not got anything back.
During the case it emerged the boy was a known BNP supporter who actively tried to enlist other youths.
The victim’s mother said: "It's very sad and comes from ignorance more than anything. My daughter is British, she was born in this country and has a British passport. But they just think everyone living in the UK should be white and English.”