Should he have done it? Debate over Darwen man's decision to take law into his own hands after being plagued by unruly children

Blackburn Citizen: David Crompton and (inset) the injury suffered by the child David Crompton and (inset) the injury suffered by the child

A GRANDFATHER ended up in court after frogmarching a child to his parents’ door when his own home was pelted with stones.

Magistrates heard David Crompton grabbed hold of a young boy and a teenage girl who were playing tig and ‘marched’ them to their homes.

But in the course of banging on the door he accidentally pushed the youngster’s face into the door handle.

Crompton, 62, who has never had a criminal conviction, said the process of going to court had been ‘awful’ and he had put his home up for sale as a result.

But the youngsters parents said their son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had not been involved in any anti-social behaviour and had been ‘really intimidated’ by what happened.

They said the fact Crompton ‘barely got a slap of the wrist’ was a joke.

Crompton pleaded guilty to assaulting the boy. He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £50 compensation and £215 costs.

The court heard the boy and his friends were playing tig in the street when Crompton came out and grabbed the girl who started crying.

He then grabbed the boy, although he had no evidence they were involved with any stone throwing.

The prosecutor said the defendant was angry and he accidently banged the boy’s face into the door, catching the door handle and causing an injury just below his eye.

Crompton, a grandfather-of-four, said he couldn’t believe that a ‘case as trivial as this’ had ended up in court.

Speaking after the case he said: “It’s absolutely ludicrous that I have had to pay £50 compensation.

“I only went out to prevent my windows being smashed. In my day, the parents would have had a strong word with the child if something like this would have gone on.

“As a child I would have never of dared to do something like this, but it is obviously a sign of the times.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have grabbed hold of his collar but my only intention was to take him to his parents.”

Crompton, a father-of-three, said the area had been plagued with juvenile nuisance, with youths not only content at throwing stones at properties but also running along the roof of homes.

The joiner from View Road, Darwen, said: “It has been awful. I’ve had to put my house up for sale they have literally forced me out.

“It has been really intimidating.

“Everyone I have spoken to cannot believe it ended up in court, nevermind that I have had to pay £265.”

Magistrates heard Crompton had never previously been in any kind of trouble with the police and had lead an ‘honest and industrious’ life.

Graham Parkinson, defending, told the hearing: “The problem arises because of nuisance that had been caused at his property,” said Mr Parkinson.

“I have seen photographs of damage caused to his property and it was not a very pleasant situation.”

Mr Parkinson said Crompton believed the boy was involved and when he went out his sole intention was to take him and the girl to their home addresses and ask their parent to do something about the situation.

“He intended to have a reasonable discussion about the situation but the response of the boy’s parents was not good and an argument ensued,” said Mr Parkinson. “He accepts he had no legal right to take hold of the boy by the T-shirt but his sole intention was to stop him running off.”

The family of the schoolboy involved said their son had been an innocent party who was caught in the crossfire.

The 11-year-old’s dad said: “This area has never really had too much of a problem with juvenile nuisance.

“My son had was really intimidated and was left with a bruise under his eye after this man lost his temper.

“He has almost become too scared to come out.

“We contacted the police because we are trying to teach our children the consequences of our actions. If my son does something wrong he gets told off. This man needed to answer for what he did.

“The fact he barely got a slap of the wrist is a joke.”

Darwen MP Jake Berry said: “I think it is important everyone has the right to defend their own property using reasonable force.

“It does seem disproportionate that Mr Crompton has had to go through this ordeal when he was simply defending his home.”

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree