This Is London, October 2, 2007
A boy of ten who claims to have been attacked by a Slovakian woman with an iron bar could be charged with inciting racial hatred, it emerged last night.
Jake Stedman admitted that the woman hit him after he threw a berry at her and told her to ‘go back to her own country’.
As a result, the boy—who was left with two black eyes—could become the youngest person in the country ever to be charged with the offence.
A police source said: “There have been allegations that he used racist language and it is necessary for us to investigate the claims.”
The Slovakian woman involved, 35, was arrested and could face assault charges.
Jake, a white English pupil, attends Luton Junior School in Chatham, Kent. The school is so riven by racial tension after an influx of Slovakian and other eastern-European children that four police patrol the gates every day.
On Saturday, one week after the alleged assault, two teenage girls were arrested for throwing stones at and abusing a Slovakian man just yards from the school.
Locals believe it may have been a revenge attack.
Police said there had been 13 race-related incidents in the area in six months.
One resident, English mother Candice Smith, 30, claimed her son William had twice been chased and threatened by Slovakian children and their parents.
But Slovakian father David Feri, 24, said English parents were teaching their children racism.
Jake Stedman was found in a pool of blood after insulting the woman in her 20s, who is believed to have a child at the same primary school.
He says she chased him down an alleyway before repeatedly striking him on the head and back with the 2ft pipe as he cowered on the floor, leaving him with two black eyes.
His mother, Amanda Stedman, 29, from Chatham, Kent, said: “I came running out the house and saw him lying in a pool of blood crying.
“He was completely in shock—he’s just a little boy.
“I know he can misbehave and he’s easily led but for this to happen is outrageous.”
Police were standing guard at Luton Junior School in Chatham at leaving time last night in an attempt to prevent racial tensions in the area rising further.
Parents angrily confronted four officers outside the school gates over the incident, which took place a week last Saturday.
A number said an increasing number of Slovak families in the area had led to friction with British parents.
About a third of around 400 pupils at the school are believed to be Slovakian-born.
British children had complained of being bullied by the Slovakian pupils, who they said had told them: “We only play with our own kind.”
One parent at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: “When the parents come and collect their children, the Slovakians stand on one side of the playground and we stand on the other.
“It is a bit like a stand-off.”
Another, mother- of-three Carla Spanton, said parents are already pulling their children out of the school following a large intake of Slovakian pupils over the summer.
“There’s been trouble ever since,” she said. “Our kids are being threatened with having their throats slit.
“It’s happening every day but no one is taking any notice.
“This used to be a good school but it’s not any more.” Father-of-one Shane Treeby added: “The trouble is going to spill over and it’s going to happen soon.
“There’s been a load of attacks recently in and around the school with gangs of Slovakians going round beating up the local kids.
“That boy getting hit was just one example, but there’s stabbings and all sorts round here which is not getting reported.” Police last night confirmed they had made an arrest in connection with the alleged pipe attack.
Chief Inspector Peter Wedlake, of Medway Police, said officers would remain on duty outside the school.
He added: “We won’t tolerate racially-motivated offences, whoever they are committed by.”
A statement issued by Medway Council on behalf of the school said: “Community cohesion is a shared responsibility for us all.
“Medway schools are typically happy and calm places where children from different backgrounds learn together and get on well.
“We work closely with the police, community support officers and the wider community to play our part in providing good race relations among pupils, parents and the wider community.”
The incident comes after last week’s admission by police that the influx of immigrants to Britain is placing a huge strain on resources.
Leading the warnings was Cambridgeshire’s chief constable Julie Spence.
She said the surge in arrivals from Eastern Europe has meant an increasing bill for translation services for victims, witnesses and criminals who often speak little or no English.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis backed the calls for tighter immigration procedures, saying Labour’s ‘opendoor approach’ is to blame for the problems.