A SECURITY officer who was beaten up and helpless to intervene as youths smashed up his van has slammed the decision not to prosecute the culprits in court.
His wife and two daughters were so traumatised seeing him covered in blood and in agony when he returned home after the incident that they constantly plead with him to change his job.
Mr Roberts, 51, was attacked after attending a call out to an alarm at Bishop Fox’s School, Taunton, after the library had been broken into.
During the assault, which lasted several minutes, he was repeatedly kicked and punched after four youths appeared out of the dark. At one stage one of them threatened to slit Mr Roberts’s throat.
The attack only ended when Mr Roberts retreated to the vehicle of a colleague who had arrived on the scene.
The pair could hear the thugs smashing up Mr Roberts’s van, which was written off.
The decision to issue cautions to the two culprits was taken by the Youth Panel, which considered several factors, including the victim’s views, previous offending of the youths and whether they take responsibility for their actions.
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: “It is not in the public interest to send a young person to court where the sentence would be similar to that of a conditional caution.
“If a child fails to abide by the conditions of a caution, he or she will be brought back to the Youth Panel and are likely to go to court for the original offence.
“A conditional caution remains on a young person’s criminal record and will appear in any enhanced criminal record checks.
“Mr Roberts’ case has been thoroughly reviewed by a senior officer and found to be in line with relevant codes of practice.”
Following a report and video of the attack at countygazette.co.uk and in your County Gazette, two of the youths gave themselves up to the police to admit their part in the incident on Friday, April 12. Police have not identified the other two youths.
Mr Roberts, who was in the South African Police for 27 years, was enraged to discover they were given conditional cautions and must attend courses on topics such as violence and relationships, drug and alcohol awareness and understanding of the consequences of offending.
He said: “I can’t believe it. They assaulted me while I was doing my work, they smashed up the van.
“They only get a caution. It’s far too lenient.
“There are reports of serious crime across the country and the government says, ‘We’re going to get tough on violent crime’. Giving these youths a caution contradicts everything politicians are saying.
“I don’t feel safe doing my job any more. My wife and children are afraid for my safety when I leave for work.”
Source – Somerset County Gazette