Vulnerable South Shields teen lured from subsidized housing and assaulted by father and son


A vulnerable teenager was lured out of his cared for accommodation and assaulted by his friend’s father.

The 17-year-old was brought into a car when supposed boyfriend Rhys Peel asked him to help his father, Michael Peel, move car parts.

But after the father and son took him out of his home, they assaulted him as they tried to make him admit responsibility for something he said he didn’t do. to a car.

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Michael Peel, whom the youngster had never met before, punched him in the face, breaking his lip and left him terrified of walking the streets of South Shields alone.

The two men were initially charged with kidnapping, but prosecutors accepted their guilty pleas of assault causing bodily harm.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Rhys Peel, who lived in the same supportive accommodation as the victim, had asked him and his father to help him.

But after Michael Peel walked away from the sanctuary of the victim’s home, he stopped, got out, grabbed the teenager by the coat and pulled him out of the car.

Condemning the Peels, recorder Ian Mularkey said: “You (Michael Peel) demanded to know what happened with the car and punched him twice, causing his lip to bleed.

“Inevitably he was terrified at this point and admitted to doing something he said he didn’t because he was so afraid you would hit him again.”

Rhys Peel was cheering on his dad by shouting: “He did it, he told me he stole out of the car”.

They got back into the car and Michael Peel threatened the victim, saying he would do him worse if he didn’t admit it, so he admitted it.

He was returned to the supported accommodation and staff contacted police after seeing that he had been injured and shaken.

Referring to a victim impact statement, prosecutor Paul Cross said: “After the incident he was afraid for his life.

“He was only 17 at the time and he thought they would come back and get him.

“He returned to his parents, where he feels more secure

“He now suffers from anxiety and always looks over his shoulder and it has had an impact on his social life.

“He’s struggling to move on but can’t go shopping on his own or socialize with friends or do things he used to do. They’ve taken away his freedom to be a normal 18-year-old boy.

“He finds everywhere he goes, he is afraid of being attacked. That is why the plea of ​​assault causing actual bodily harm was accepted.”

Michael Peel, who has 14 previous convictions, including injury, and Rhys Peel, who has two criminal offenses on his record, both admitted assault.

Michael Peel, 47, of Turner Avenue, South Shields and Rhys Peel, 25, of Copley Avenue, South Shields, were each sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months with pardon and injunction. Michael has to do 180 hours of unpaid work and Rhys 140 hours.

Gavin Doig, for Michael Peel, said: “He bitterly regrets his involvement.

“He was the only one who used violence and he did not encourage anyone else to get involved in the violence.

“The violence was spontaneous and due to frustration that he did not receive information.

“He expressed proper and sincere remorse. This remorse was not for the position he finds himself in and the risk he has placed himself in, but for the harm he has caused the victim.

“He is particularly ashamed to involve his young son.”

Nick Lane, for Rhys Peel, said: “He regrets getting involved in this incident.

“He played a more limited role, it is not said that he himself used violence, he simply encouraged his father.”

Mr Lane added that Rhys now has seasonal employment and is assessed as having a low risk of future infringement.

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