A TEEN who was filmed kicking a pensioner into a freezing canal before running away laughing has today been jailed for ten weeks.
The 74-year-old victim had been fishing in his “favourite” spot in the River Mersey in Warrington when he was ambushed by Benjamin Bridgeman.
He was today caged for ten weeks[/caption]
The 19-year-old thug was captured booting the pensioner into the water in a “sickening” video that shocked the nation.
Bridgeman even callously ran away laughing as he flailed in the water desperately trying to keep his head above water.
He was today caged for ten weeks at Warrington Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to assaulting the man, who hasn’t been named.
The victim’s wife read an emotional victim impact statement where she told how her husband’s mental health has plummeted since the attack.
‘HE IS SCARED’
She said: “He is confused and fearful – he feels that he has lost all faith in the system.
“The incident has made him think that all teenagers are trouble and would treat him in the same way if given the chance.
“We used to go for walks along the river, but since the incident he is refusing to do so – particularly near any kind of water – as he is scared of being assaulted again.”
She said her husband feels “lucky to be alive” and believes the horror will have an “impact on him for the rest of his life”.
Deputy district judge Ian Barnes branded the video “quite sickening” as he sentenced Bridgeman today.
He added: “It was not reckless, it was a deliberate act, that’s quite clear.”
The court was told the victim was standing on the banks of the river magnet fishing when the horror unfolded on April 25.
Shocking footage showed Bridgeman perform a flying kick to the OAP’s back – sending him plunging into the canal.
His puffer jacket began to fill with water and he was struggled to breathe as he “just about managed to keep his head above water”.
Thankfully, two 14-year-old girls rescued the pensioner by pulling him from the water.
He then walked home soaking wet and shivering, before his family reported the sickening crime to the police.
Bridgeman handed himself into police following an appeal for information.
He last month issued a public apology after pleading guilty to assault.
The teen thug told the Warrington Guardian: “It wasn’t supposed to happen, I didn’t realise he was 74 years old.
“All I can do now is move forward, everyone makes mistakes in life.
“That’s the honest truth, from the bottom of my heart. I’ll be home soon.
“Back in court in three weeks, so everyone will see me get sentenced then – that’s what everybody wants.
“You’ll see me do my time, which I deserve.”
A 15-year-old boy who uploaded the clip to Snapchat admitted assault and was handed a 12-month youth referral order on June 4.
Speaking after the sentencing, Inspector Daniel Haddock from Cheshire Constabulary, said: “This was a disgraceful act which not only shocked the local community but the nation.
“What the pair saw as funny could have cost this man his life. They have also taken away what was once a favourite and enjoyable place for him to go fishing.
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“It is pure luck that two teenage girls were walking past at the time and saw him in the water.
“Without a second thought they came to his aid and pulled him to safety. It is their actions that restore our faith in humanity.
“I only hope the support from the community, and knowing those responsible have been punished for what they did, helps him to feel comfortable to one day return to his favourite place.”
The teen has since apologised to the victim[/caption]