Flintshire teenager hit-out in anger after family comment

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A TEENAGER punched and kicked a friend after she made a comment about his father.

Ben Harmes, 19, had been drinking with his friends on Christmas Day 2008 and in the early hours of the following day asked Sian Hughes if they could continue to party at her place.

She refused and Harmes said her family would be ashamed of her.

In return she said: “Well your dad would have been ashamed of you.”

Prosecutor Nicholas Williams said it was an unpleasant and perhaps unwise thing to have said because it was common knowledge that only a few months earlier Harmes’ father had taken his own life.

But Harmes totally over-reacted and literally “exploded”, Mold Crown Court heard.

He pushed her with two hands against a wall and punched her full in the face.

She tried to fight back, ended up on the floor and when a friend tried to help he threw her to the floor as well. The assault on Miss Hughes continued and at one stage he was holding her around the throat with both hands.

He also kicked her once to the face as she lay on the floor.

Another friend tried to alert the police on her mobile phone but he realised what she was doing, grabbed the phone and smashed it against a wall.

Miss Hughes was taken to hospital but fortunately she escaped with bruising and swelling to the face and body.

For some reason Harmes was not arrested until the following October. Just after his trial had started and a jury had been sworn Harmes, of Berthen Road, near Lixwm, admitted assaulting Miss Hughes causing her actual bodily harm, in the early hours of Boxing Day, 2008, outside the British Legion Club in Flint and damaging a friend’s phone.

Harmes, who has no previous convictions, was placed on a 12 month community order.

He must stay indoors at night under a three month curfew order and he must follow an alcohol education course run by the probation service.

Oliver King, defending, said Harmes had pleaded guilty knowing that the complainant and other witnesses, who had all been friends, did not wish to give evidence. He said they had all since reconciled.

Harmes was a man with his own problems. He suffered from anxiety and depression but references spoke highly of him and he was hoping to join the army.

Judge Niclas Parry said it was a nasty incident. When young girls were punched and kicked it was only right it was brought before the court.

See full story in the Leader

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