Racist bully avoids prison despite attacking schoolboys in parks

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Whitcombe appeared at Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A racist bully has been ordered to pay compensation to three schoolboys who he attacked on parkland in Ottery St Mary.

Aidan Whitcombe threatened to stab a 16-year-old in one attack and brandished a bicycle seat in another during a six-week outbreak of violence.

He used racially abusive language during a third assault in which he repeatedly punched another 16-year-old in the face while making insulting references to his Chinese origins.

Whitcombe then traded on his reputation as a bully by sending abusive Snapchat messages to another teenager in which he threatened to stamp on their face and to ‘****ing kill them’.

He was banned from going near a school and two areas of open land in Ottery St Mary under a Criminal Behaviour Order but spared an immediate jail sentence when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court.

Whitcombe, 18, formerly of Ottery St Mary but now living in Exmouth, admitted three assaults causing actual bodily harm, on of which was racially aggravated, and sending a threatening electronic message.

He was jailed for a total of 14 months, suspended for a year, and ordered to do 12 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £240 compensation to each of the three assault victims by Recorder Mr Timothy Kenefick.

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He told him: “You were mixing with a group of slightly older youths who were a bad influence and you were trying to present yourself as a bit of a hard man in order to impress these people.

“That is in part why you acted as a complete bully at the time. I am told you are now very ashamed of what you did.”

Miss Emily Pitts, prosecuting, said the first attack was on a 16-year-old boy who Whitcombe approached as he arrived at school on March 16 last year. 

He told him he would stab him unless we went around the corner with him and then punched him in the face, leaving him with serious bruising.

He approached a group of boys who were playing on fields behind Claremont Fields on April 1 while armed with a bike seat. 

He headbutted a 15-year-old boy and was filmed on mobile phones as he urged his friends to attack others.

Whitcombe’s next attack was on a 16-year-old boy at the Land of Canaan on April 20, 2021, in which he pinned down the victim and punched him repeatedly in the face.

He threw a bicycle at him as he left and made a racially offensive reference to the victim’s Chinese origins.

He went on to send four Snapchat messages to another youth eight days later, threatening to kill him and stamp on his head ‘non-stop’.

Mr Warren Robinson, defending, said Whitcombe was only 17 at the time and has made huge changes in his life in the intervening year.

His family has moved out of Ottery and he has started work as an apprentice bricklayer and stopped using drink and drugs. 

He is now ashamed of his actions and wants to apologise and pay compensation to the victims.