Teenage girl put into care after World Cup attack

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A 16–year–old Sunderland girl whose brother beat her with a table leg after she objected to him watching the Word Cup must go into care, a judge has ruled.

The teenager said she was attacked during the summer of 2014 - during World Cup in Brazil - when she was 15 and her brother was in his late teens, Judge Simon Wood was told at a hearing in a family court in Newcastle.

Her brother and mother had denied that she had been assaulted during the afternoon when Italy lost to Costa Rica in England’s qualifying group.

With her mother claiming she had fainted, while her brother said she was not in the room.

But Judge Wood was told that the girl had “linear marks” on her thigh and arm plus marks on her back and bruising on her shoulder.

He concluded that the girl was telling the truth - and decided that her mother had seen the attack and had chosen not to intervene.

The judge said the girl had been taken into interim foster care shortly after the attack - pending decisions about her long-term future.

But Judge Wood ruled that Sunderland City Council had responsibility for the girl’s welfare and decided she should go into long-term care.

However, he also criticised police over the way they had dealt with the girl after she ran away from a foster care placement.

Judge Wood said he was extremely concerned at the level of force which had been used.

He said: “I want to register my extreme concern at the level of force which was used when the police recovered (the girl) from her home when she ran away from foster care.

“She was handcuffed, under what power is not clear, and the incident is said to have been recorded because of its nature.

“This incident needs to be noted and taken up by the local authority in conjunction with the police.”

He said the incident was had been “harmful” to the girl and indicated that he did not want such a thing to happen again.

“I do not know what the local authority response to it was at the time, what its response has been since,” he said.

“I do seek separately an explanation from the local authority and the police as to the circumstances that were pertaining and as to what measures have been devised and agreed upon to avoid a repetition of such an event in the future.”