A man was fined for washing a six-year-old boy’s mouth with soap after the child kicked an elderly man’s walking stick and told him to “f*** off”.
Rian Birtwell, 23, pleaded guilty to assault earlier this week in Sunderland, England, for shoving a bar of soap in Alfi Forsyth’s mouth.
Birtwell, who used to babysit the youngster, saw the boy kick an elderly man’s walking stick and told him to stop, but was called a “gay boy” and to “f*** off”.
1. Rian Birtwell (pictured) pleaded guilty to assault at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court after confronting Alfi Forsyth and shoving a bar of soap in his mouth.
Angered by the child’s actions, Birtwell bought a bar of soap after the incident on April 11, returned to the park, pinned Alfi down and shoved the soap in his mouth.
Birtwell was arrested after Alfi told his mother Lynne Cook about the incident. His attorney Jason Smith described the incident in court. He said:
He [Birtwell] is a young man who is very affable. He sees the boy run across to an old gentleman with a stick and tries to kick the stick away.
He remonstrates with him to which the boy — who the police, I have to say, accept is slightly out of control and perhaps not the best of young individuals — says to Rian to f*** off.
Rian says to him to stop swearing and when he doesn’t, he says “stop swearing or I will wash your mouth with soap”, something that used to happen in the good old days.
He fully accepts in hindsight that that was not the best way to react. All Rian was trying to do was teach the little boy some manners. Unfortunately, manners are in short supply nowadays.
Birtwell was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 ($130) court costs and a £15 ($23) victim surcharge.
2. Rian Birtwell, 23, was fined after pleading guilty to assault when he confronted six-year-old Alfi Forsyth (pictured) and shoved a bar of soap in his mouth.
Speaking after the sentence, Birtwell said he took action because Alfi “needed to be taught a lesson” for swearing. He said:
I know Alfi and his mum Lynne very well, I used to babysit for him when he was younger.
I accept what I did was wrong, but I meant no harm I just thought he needed to be taught a lesson because he behaved so badly and used language no six-year-old should be using.
An old man was walking across the park using a stick, he was very unsteady on his feet, but Alfi ran over to him.
He was pretending to kick away the old man’s stick and although he was aiming his kicks wide of the stick I was worried he’d make the old man fall over.
I went over and said “Alfi stop that or I will tell your mom”. If someone had said that to me at his age it would have been enough but he just reacted with a load of abuse.
I told him I would wash his mouth out with soap and his response was “you wouldn’t f****** dare”.
3. Alfi’s mother Lynne Cook admitted her son had sworn at Birtwell but said “kids do that king of thing”.
Lynne Cook, the boy’s mother, admitted that her son had sworn at Birtwell but said that “kids do that kind of thing”. She said:
I admit that my son swore and he was wrong for that, but like I said to the police at the time, kids do that kind of thing.
At the end of the day, he is a 23-year-old bloke who has assaulted a six-year-old. The sentence is a joke.
Cook also denied that Alfi had kicked the elderly man’s walking stick and added that he had not been violent towards him.
The case has prompted a mixed response on social media, with some users expressing support for Birtwell while others are criticizing him for physically assaulting a child.
4. The confrontation between Birtwell, 23, and Alfi occurred in this park. Birtwell was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the equivalent of $150 in court costs.
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