Boy, 15, blinded teenager

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A 15-YEAR-OLD Wigan schoolboy, who blinded a teenager in one eye after striking him with a golf ball, has been ordered to pay £1,000 compensation.

The boy, who can not be named for legal reasons, used a golf club to smash the ball towards a group of youngsters playing football on fields near Ince St Mary’s Primary School in July last year.

It hit the 16-year-old victim in his right eye causing a severe fracture. He was rushed to hospital but the severity of the injury meant his eye had to be removed by surgeons at the Royal Manchester Eye Hospital.

The defendant pleaded guilty at Wigan Youth Court yesterday to wounding without intent.

He was sentenced to a 12-month referral order and told to pay £1,000 compensation.

Jan Urey, prosecuting, said the defendant, who was 14 at the time of the incident, had walked onto the field with two friends at around 4.25pm on July 25, carrying a golf club and three golf balls.

He approached a group of youngsters who were playing football and asked one of them to move before he struck the ball.

The victim, who was stood about 15 yards away, was hit in the eye before his friends immediately sought help and an ambulance was called.

In a statement read to the court, the victim spoke of the devastating impact the injury had had on his health and his school work.

He said: “All my visits to hospital have meant I am behind in most of my GCSEs. I have had to do extra work after school to catch up.

“Since being hit, I suffer headaches which are so painful that I often have to come home from school. I’m being forced to take painkillers which are also anti-depressants.

“Sometimes the headaches happen every hour. I’ve had to quit my football team and it’s affected the sports I can play.

“I have to really concentrate when I grab things. I was quiet before this happened but now I’m not an out-going person at all.

“I often see the defendant in school and he doesn’t seemed bothered. He doesn’t have to take painkillers or look in the mirror at an artificial eye because of this.”

Craige Parkinson, defending, said the 15-year-old had just started using his golf club at the time of the incident but admitted he was aware of the potential dangers.

During sentencing, District Judge Mark Hadfield said: “You acted recklessly. From you’re own common sense you should realise that you were putting others at risk.

“A young man has sustained serious injuries with the loss of an eye. I have no doubt, having seen the effect of your actions, you fully appreciate the serious nature of the offence and feel remorse.”