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Mother slams hammer attack school

The mother of a white 15-year-old boy who was brain-damaged in a hammer attack by a gang of Asian pupils said she felt his school was responsible after a report found it failed to recognise a series of racist incidents prior to the assault.

Henry Webster was repeatedly punched, kicked and hit with the sharp end of a claw hammer in an assault by the gang on the tennis courts at Ridgeway School in Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire, in January 2007.

His mother Liz said the serious case review (SCR) showed the school was responsible and added that criticism of the local authority was "tantamount to a whitewash".

"This review has confirmed our belief that the Ridgeway School was responsible for the horrific, devastating assault on our son which has left him with permanent injuries," she said.

"The criticism of the local authority is tantamount to a whitewash as it is so minimal and limited.

"The review doesn't mention what needs to be done to improve race relations in Swindon, which is an urgent concern considering the considerable increase in the vote for the BNP."

Mrs Webster went on: "Since the assault, this school and Swindon Authority have been excessively defensive - the headmaster has actually gone as far as stating Henry was not an innocent victim.

"It is now clear this defensive/aggressive tactic was to try to deflect blame from the school and the local authority."

Her son had agreed to fight a boy "one on one" to end the harassment which he thought he and his friends were experiencing and because of peer pressure.

The ensuing attack, which happened when four boys pointed him out to three Asian men who had arrived in cars, took about one minute and it was the six blows from a hammer produced by one of the intruders which left the teenager with a depressed skull fracture.

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