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Bully, 16, whose video of girls' humiliation went viral, avoids detention

Published 03/08/2015

The video of the girls' ordeal was posted on social media
The video of the girls' ordeal was posted on social media

A 16-year-old bully recorded humiliating two younger teenage girls on a viral video watched by millions has walked free from court.

The girl was sentenced to a 10-month referral order at Birmingham Youth Court today, following what a district judge called a "horrendous act of bullying".

She had already admitted an assault and another charge of robbery, apologising for the incident in which she forced two younger girls to the floor in the Northfield area of the city, on July 11.

A video of the attack filmed by one of her friends was posted to social media and has since been viewed 11 million times, the court heard.

District Judge David Robinson, sentencing, said he did not believe the girl's story she was too drunk to remember the assault.

"I've seen the video and it's clear you knew exactly what you were doing and why you were doing," he said.

However, he avoided sending her to immediate detention pointing out she was of previous good character and that the incident was a "one-off".

The judge said: "There are a number of factors which aggravate the seriousness of these offences.

"The assault was pre-planned and motivated by a desire to humiliate the two girls, who were younger than you.

"They were surrounded by a group, clearly with you, and must have been terrified.

"You struck both with their own handbags."

The girl punched the victims, and stole the iPhone of one of them, which has never been recovered.

The judge added both girls had been left completely vulnerable after being forced to the ground by their attacker.

"You humiliated both, forcing both to apologise for some perceived look or slight," he said.

"You forced agreement out of them not to call the police at threat of violence, subjecting them to further degradation, forcing the removal of the shoes of one of the girls.

"Their humiliation is complete in that their ordeal has been spread across social media."

The court heard how the girl estimated she had drunk a litre of vodka before heading out to a local McDonald's with friends that evening.

She spotted her victims there and launched her attack after both groups left the restaurant.

Asked by the judge if she had anything to say for herself, she replied tearfully: "I'm really sorry - it's not something I would usually do. Normally I stick up against the bully."

Wearing a black cardigan, skirt and white blouse, and supported in court by her mother, she added: "It's not just shamed me, but also my family and the people that know me.

"People don't want to speak to me any more because they think I'm a bad person."

In mitigation, the teenager's solicitor Amy Nuttall said her client had a drink problem.

She added the girl had also suffered an "unstable" upbringing where she was exposed to domestic violence which saw her moved, along with her mother, in and out of women's refuges.

Ms Nuttall said: "Mum has said the past couple of years, her daughter has been in a downward spiral.

"She would like her to engage in anger management, because as quickly as she gets angry, she stops again."

She added the teenager's identity was now well known online and her client had received thousands of death threats after her mobile phone number was leaked on social media.

The family home has also been daubed with graffiti forcing the girl to move home.

Mr Robinson said he had balanced all the factors of the case before sentencing the girl to a referral order, rather than detention.

Under the terms of the order, she will have to sign a contract agreeing to behave and carry out activities, overseen by youth workers.

Her mother was also ordered to pay compensation on her daughter's behalf of £100 to one victim and £400, including the cost of the stolen mobile phone, to the other girl.

Mr Robinson also imposed a parenting order telling the girl's mother it would support her in stopping any future bad behaviour.

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