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Girl, 13, ‘scared to go out’ as mum slams decision not to charge her attackers

A vicious assault has left a teenager scared to go out, her mum has claimed – as she slams the decision not to charge the attackers.

Jodie-Marie Sheffield’s daughter Summer, 13, was punched and kicked after being lured to a park in St Helens, Merseyside in March.

A video of the attack, which was widely shared on social media, shows two teenage girls going after their unsuspecting victim.

A gang, some on bikes, followed along and filmed as Summer was assaulted.

Police probed the incident but decided no charges would be brought and passed the matter to the Youth Justice Service.

Mum Jodie-Marie, 33, said of the horror incident: “Summer had asked me if she could go up to Sherdley Park after school.

“At first I said no because I know the groups of children that hang about up there. I was a bit apprehensive at first but then I said it was okay for half an hour.

“She’d had a phone call from one of the girls asking if she wanted to go out.

“She asked her if the girl who had attacked her sister previously was going to be there but the girl turned around to her said: ‘Don’t worry, babe. Nobody’s here. I won’t let anybody hurt you.'”

Summer met with a group of children near to her school, The Sutton Academy, who walked her over to Sherdley Park.

Jodie-Marie said: “There was about 20 children there and everybody knew what was going to happen to Summer.

“She clapped eyes on the girl who assaulted her sister and said I’m going to go home now.

“As she turned around to walk away she rang me to say the girl was there and asked if I could go and pick her up.

“I said: ‘Yes I’ll come and get you now’ and the next minute I just heard the most bloodcurdling scream ever.

“They had started to attack her from behind. Two girls attacked her and a gang of kids stood by filming.

“They pulled her down to the floor by her hair and then proceeded to stamp and kick her, followed by punches to the head and body as well.

“In that moment in time, it was the worst feeling in the world.

“To have to listen to her being attacked down the phone – I just can’t describe what I felt like at that moment. It was horrendous.”

The mum said her daughter has now been left with both her physical injuries and the longer lasting mental trauma caused by the assault.

What has made things even worse for the mum is she claims one of the girls involved also attacked her other daughter last year.

Jodie-Marie said: “After she took a good kicking, some of the kids asked them to stop and two people passing went over and one lady stayed with her until I could get up there to pick her up.

“I went straight up to get Summer. I just wanted to get her home at that point.

“On Sunday morning we took her to the walk-in-centre as she woke up with a really bad headache and these lumps had come up really big on either side of her head.

“She had abrasions to her hands, knees and arms. And she had a swollen neck from where they kicked her under the chin.”

Jodie-Marie got in touch with Merseyside Police and showed them the video that had been shared on social media.

But, despite officers reviewing the footage, the incident has now been passed to the Youth Justice Service with no charges brought against those responsible.

Jodie-Marie said: “They [police] came back last week and said no charges. It’s going to be passed to the youth offending service – I just felt sick.

“Because of their age it’s going to be a youth offenders intervention.”

Both Summer and her attackers attended The Sutton Academy, who Jodie-Marie said have been “absolutely brilliant throughout”.

The school expelled the girls, who Jodie-Marie claimed were on their last warning for previous incidents, including attacking her other daughter last year.

The Sutton Academy declined to comment.

Jodie-Marie said: “I feel absolutely gutted. The police are supposed to be there to help us and we feel like we have just been massively failed.

“The same girl assaulted my other daughter last year and because I felt bad I chose to go down the restorative justice route.

“I thought I don’t want the kids getting a bad marker against their name that could possibly affect employment when they’re older.

“Summer has been massively affected. She doesn’t tend to venture out of our street now.

“If she does, she just goes to the park at the side of our house where I can see her through the window.

“She’s recently started having nightmares and she’s just not herself anymore – it’s really knocked her for six.”

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “In relation to this incident, a full investigation has been carried out. Two suspects were
swiftly identified and both admitted responsibility during interview.

“Due to the age of the suspects and their previous good character, the decision was made to make a referral by our Youth Offender Team to the Youth Justice Service, a service run by the local authority.

“This service aims to offer a resolution for victims and diversion for offenders, ultimately seeking to prevent further incidents.

“This is the most appropriate resolution given the young ages of those involved and their previous good character.

“The Youth Justice Service will this week be meeting further on this case and a Victim Liaison Officer will be appointed, who will speak again with the family of the victim before any resolution is decided.

“The victim’s family have been regularly updated throughout the investigation, and will receive further updates as the matter progresses through the Youth Justice Service.

“Whilst we understand the upset and distress that this incident caused, this is the most appropriate outcome and will hopefully see all parties reach a satisfactory conclusion to the matter.”

St Helens Youth Justice Service did not wish to comment.