A GIRL aged 14 was taken to court after pinging a classmate s bra. The teenager, who cannot be named because of her age, admitted common assault after accepting that what she did was technically against the law. However, magistrates said the case shou
A GIRL aged 14 was taken to court after "pinging" a classmate's bra.
The teenager, who cannot be named because of her age, admitted common assault after accepting that what she did was "technically" against the law.
However, magistrates said the case should not have come to court and gave her an absolute discharge.
The court heard the girl had already been suspended from school for two days and she had been punished by her parents who withdrew her mobile phone, Sony PlayStation and laptop computer for four weeks.
Huntingdon Youth Court heard that the teenager had walked across a classroom at her school to where the girl, also aged 14, was sitting, to talk to a friend.
Prosecuting, Tracey Bellingham said: "The victim had just come back from the toilet when the girl talked to someone on her table.
"She then said to the victim 'have you been putting tissues down your bra?'
"The victim replied 'don't be silly'. The girl then, with her left hand, pulled the underwiring of her bra in a pinging action."
Speaking in court the girl said: "I'm very sorry that this had to come before the court. I accepted the punishment given to me by the school and was very ashamed.
"This isn't the way it should be dealt with. It was dealt with in school and I feel that is the way it should have been dealt with."
Presiding magistrate Terry Bolongaro ordered the girl to pay her victim £20 compensation, but said the case should have been dealt with by a formal police reprimand.
He said: "Though you are guilty, we are not punishing you and you will hear no more about this.
"You apologised straight away. You've clearly shown remorse. You felt guilty and accepted the school's punishment."
He said he accepted there had been a misunderstanding between the girl and the police.
He said it had left her unable to accept the reprimand, because the wording made reference to an element of "sexual touching".
As a result of the girl's refusal to accept the reprimand, the case was taken to court.
However, Mrs Bellingham added: "This was never prosecuted as a sexual assault. There has never been any suggestion it was an assault of a sexual nature."
The court heard how the victim had made a personal statement which said: "The event upset and degraded me and I felt I was being picked on in the class.
"After the incident I did not feel I could go back to school. I missed up to two months and I went back to a restricted timetable."
The court heard the victim had previously suffered bullying by other pupils.
The Year 10 pupil apologised to the victim after the class.
The girl's father, a 37-year-old employment law consultant, and a father of three, said after the hearing: "It was a regrettable incident but this should never have come to court.
"The CPS has decided it was in the interests of the public to bring it to court, but clearly the court doesn't agree with the police and the CPS.
"She had already been punished by us, and by the school, and that should have been the end of it.