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Teenager spared jail after attack on former ambassador to US | UK News



A teenager has been spared jail despite inflicting “horrific” injuries on former British ambassador to the US Sir Christopher Meyer.

A witness to the attack told Uxbridge Youth Court that the 17-year-old lashed out at Sir Christopher after the former ambassador pushed past him and called him a “‘b*****d” at London’s Victoria station on 11 July last year.

The boy, then 16, lost his temper and pushed the former ambassador from behind – causing Sir Christopher to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.

He suffered severe facial bruising, a cut to his finger and cuts around his eye – injuries which required him to have a number of operations and spend six days in hospital.

Sir Christopher Meyer, the former Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, arrives at the High Court to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on January 31, 2012
Sir Christopher Meyer was attacked at a London train station

The boy, who cannot be named due to his age, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and was given a 12-month referral order and ordered to pay £500 in compensation.

Prosecutor Katie Weiss said that Sir Christopher, who was the UK’s ambassador to the US between 1997 and 2003, had been on a train from Vauxhall and was confronted by the teenager at the train doors.

Sir Christopher was leaving the train and the teenager was boarding.

Ms Weiss said: “A witness says she saw a verbal dispute between the two, it appears that Sir Christopher nudged past the defendant calling him a ‘b*****d’.

“It seems that the witnesses heard the defendant say ‘I’m not having this’ and got off the train then ran towards Sir Christopher and with both hands pushed him in the back with significant force.

“He fell to the platform and was knocked unconscious, sustaining a number of injuries.”

In a statement about the effect of the attack on him, Sir Christopher said it had been “deeply distressing” and added: “The injuries I suffered may well leave permanent disfigurement.

George W. Bush (R) smiles after receiving a bust of Sir Winston Churchill from British Ambassador to the US Christopher Meyer at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in 2001
Sir Christopher was the UK’s ambassador to the US between 1997 and 2003

“There is also a lasting emotional impact.”

District Judge Deborah Wright said: “The injuries in this case were quite clearly horrific. The assault has had a profound impact upon him both physically and emotionally.

“The victim has injuries which have left him with scarring. He does not know whether or not he will suffer permanent disfigurement.”

The judge said that, despite the attack being bad enough for a custodial sentence, the boy’s previous good character and remorse had persuaded her to act differently.

The boy stayed at the scene until police arrived, admitted what he had done and said he wanted to apologise, the court heard.

Brad Lawlor, defending, said the boy was a good student and was determined to get back on track.

Mr Lawlor said the boy had simply lost his temper, adding: “This was a momentary lapse of judgement by the defendant, clearly a loss of temper.

“He has shown himself to be an educated, driven young man keen to rehabilitate himself and make right his actions.”

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