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Soldier, 23, pleads guilty to attacking young fundraisers in city’s Mirror Pool
A former soldier who attacked a pair of teenage charity fundraisers dressed as Spider-Man and Captain America because he thought it would be “funny” has been handed a conditional discharge.
Bradford Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard Thomas Laird, 23, and his accomplice Andrew Farrell, 19, pushed 16-year-old friends Joshua Jeffries and Joshua Myatt into the Mirror Pool at City Park as they were collecting cash for CVS Bradford dressed as superheroes on August 1.
Kathryn Walsh, prosecuting, told how the defendants, who had been out drinking, approached the teenagers and started “pushing and pulling them”.
“The defendant Farrell approached Mr Jefferies, who was dressed as Captain America, grabbed him by the wrist and pushed him by the chest into the fountain,” she said.
Laird, who was due to rejoin the Army days later, tried to pull the superhero masks off the teenagers.
The pair fled to a nearby pub when a member of the public alerted a PCSO.
When arrested and interviewed, Laird told police he had spotted the teenagers and “thought it would be funny to pull them into the fountain”.
Miss Walsh said: “Fortunately both teenagers say they did not suffer any injuries other than finding it upsetting.
“Mr Myatt said he was most upset finding it difficult to breathe because he was submerged under water.”
Laird and Farrell both admitted two offences of assault by beating.
Sarah Boden, mitigating for Laird, told the court the offence was “a prank gone wrong”. “He has shown remorse. He had not thought they were collecting for charity which makes him even more remorseful about the situation.”
Magistrates handed Laird a 12-month conditional discharge, ordered him to pay costs of £85 and to pay compensation of £25 to each victim.
Farrell will be sentenced at Bradford Magistrates’ Court next week.