Teenager, 18, says he will ‘do my time’ after pleading guilty to assault for kicking pensioner, 74, into the River Mersey while he fished

  • Benjamin Bridgeman, 18,  kicked a fisherman into the River Mersey on video
  • The youth pleaded guilty to assault in connection with the incident at court
  • Outside court he told a local reporter ‘You’ll see me do my time, which I deserve’

A teenager who sparked national uproar after he kicked a fisherman into the River Mersey says he will ‘do his time’ after admitting assault at court.

Benjamin Bridgeman, 18, prompted nationwide disgust after he attacked the pensioner in Warrington last month.

The 74-year-old man – whose identity is not known – struggled in the water as Bridgeman laughed before running away with friends.

He had to be rescued by schoolgirls Ellie Hughes and Khloe Woods, who made a human chain to help him out of the depths.

Yesterday the youth pleaded guilty to assault in connection with the incident at Warrington Magistrates Court with sentencing due next week.

Speaking outside court Bridgeman said: ‘Obviously I’m very sorry. It wasn’t supposed to happen, I didn’t realise he was 74-years-old.

‘All I can do now is move forward, everyone makes mistakes in life.

‘That’s the honest truth, from the bottom of my heart. I’ll be home soon.

Benjamin Bridgeman, 18, prompted nationwide disgust after he attacked the pensioner

The youths targeted the elderly gentleman as he was fishing on the banks of the river

This is the moment a gang of feral schoolboys kicked a 74-year-old pensioner into the water

‘Back in court in three weeks, so everyone will see me get sentenced then – that’s what everybody wants.

‘You’ll see me do my time, which I deserve,’ he told the Warrington Guardian.

The attack was the subject of a police appeal for information, shared by MailOnline at the time,

In court JPs were told the elderly man was stood on the banks of the river in Howley, magnet fishing at around 2.30pm on April 25.

The victim’s wife told the court:  ‘Since then, my husband has completely changed.

‘Since the incident, I feel I have seen a decline in his mental health – I have tried to get him to go and see a doctor, but he is refusing to get help.

‘He is confused and fearful – he feels that he has lost all faith in the system.

‘The incident has made him think that all teenagers are trouble and would treat him in the same way if given the chance.

The victim also lost a sentimental silver dollar pendant attached to his keyring – a keepsake

Friends Khloe Woods (right) and Ellie Hughes (left), both 14, heard the man’s cries for help

‘We used to go for walks along the river, but since the incident he is refusing to do so – particularly near any kind of water – as he is scared of being assaulted again.

‘He feels he is lucky to be alive and I agree with him, because he might have drowned. This incident will have an impact on him for the rest of his life.

‘I can only hope that in the coming weeks and months he will be able to process what has happened.’

The court heard Bridgeman was placed into care at the age of eight and suffers from ADHD.

Judge Ian Barnes said: ‘The incident you have pleaded guilty to is quite shocking, and ultimately it’s a serious incident.

‘The court will no doubt be considering very seriously whether to impose a prison sentence.

‘That is in your hands – if you cooperate, the probation service might be able to suggest a recommendation that does not involve a prison sentence.

‘Your conduct between now and then will play a large part.’

A 15-year-old boy from Warrington who cannot be named for legal reasons also admitted assault having videoed the incident and then posted the clip – which was played to the court – on Snapchat. 

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