Pensioner, 73, left girl, 16, with cut mouth after hitting her at South Shields transport hub

A pensioner cut a teenager’s mouth when he hit her after losing his temper at South Tyneside’s main transport hub.
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Leslie Worthington, 73, struck the 16-year-old in front of her friends after the pair exchanged comments at South Shields town centre’s travel interchange on Saturday, May 28, a court heard.

In a victim impact statement, she said: “I don’t expect to be spoken to like this by an adult, especially somebody old enough to be my grandfather.”

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Prosecutor Lillian Yanes Hellevik told borough magistrates: “She was at the interchange, waiting for a Metro home.

South Shields transport hub.South Shields transport hub.
South Shields transport hub.

“She says that an elderly male approached and made inappropriate comments.

“She was shocked and accepts making comments back to the defendant. He said that she was mouthy, and he lashed out with his hand.

“He struck her to the left side of her mouth, causing a cut. She has braces in her mouth, and it caused pain. It caused her to stagger backwards, she was dazed.

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“One of her friends saw a passing police car and she identified the defendant. He did accept a single strike to her face.

“The offence is aggravated by the defendant being under the influence of alcohol and this was an assault on a child in the presence of other children.”

Worthington, who has seven previous convictions, including five against the person but none since 2014, pleaded guilty to assault by beating.

David Forrester, defending, denied Worthington had made any inappropriate comment during the initial verbal exchange.

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He said youngsters often approached his client to talk about the rings he has on each finger, and his hat, but admitted he had lashed out.

Mr Forrester added: “Mr Worthington does accept that he’d had a couple of drinks, but he doesn’t accept he was impaired.

“He says that when hanging out at bus stations, he’s a character because of his hat and his chains. Young people come up and speak to him.

“There’s been some banter and he believes that the girl said something.

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“In interview, he says that he flicked out with the back of his left hand. He apologises for that.

“Clearly, he’s upset that he’s lost control in relation to that and the conversations that were going on.

“There were comments that the girl would say were inappropriate. He would say they made inappropriate comments.

“He knows what he did was wrong, he lost control. It was the last remark to him that made him lose control.”

Magistrates fined Worthington, of Norham Avenue North, South Shields, £200, with a £34 victim surcharge, and ordered him to pay the girl £100 compensation.