Facebook posts blamed for assault by teenager

A TEEN who hit another boy in a “spontaneous and unprovoked assault” has been warned how easily one punch could have devastating consequences.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to assault charges in the Children’s Court.

The court heard the teen and the victim had known each other for six months and had been friends on Facebook.

Last year, the victim and three friends were leaving the Warrnambool show when the teen and a group of his friends started following.

The teen approached the victim and after a conversation, began verbally abusing him.

The court was told the victim became scared and put his hands up in self defence, saying he did not want to fight.

The teen was about one metre from the victim when he punched him in the face with a closed fist, causing him to fall back on to a tree branch which broke his fall. 

The victim fell backwards and the teen grabbed him by the shirt and punched his upper body. He suffered bruising to his face.

The teen was interviewed by police and made full admissions.

He said the reason for the assault was because of abuse which had been posted on Facebook over the previous six months.

The boy’s defence counsel said it was a spontaneous and unprovoked assault and alcohol had not been a factor.

She said her client thought he would get in first due to the abuse he received on social media.

She said he had not been in any trouble before or since the assault.

The magistrate told the teen the confrontation could easily have ended differently and if he had followed the news recently would know the damage one punch could do.

The accused received a six-month good behaviour bond, without conviction.

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