A teen who 'karate-style kicked' a pensioner into a river said 'everyone makes mistakes'
The 18-year-old has now apologised for what happened, which left a 74-year-old in the water, and the victim's wife said 'could have made him drown' if people nearby had not come to his rescue.
Benjamin Bridgeman, of Yardley Avenue in Warrington, pleaded guilty to assault by beating after he was recorded on video kicking the man.
The clip was posted on the social media platform Snapchat with a smiling emoji next to it, according to reports, before it went viral online.
A 15-year-old boy who filmed the incident on Sunday, April 25 also pleaded guilty to common assault. He cannot be named due to legal restrictions.
Bridgeman apologised after his appearance in court while his mum added that her son was "not a rogue," reports the Liverpool Echo.
His mum defended her son after he appeared in court to answer charges for pushing a pensioner into the River Mersey.
In the widely condemned footage, the elderly gentleman can be seen trying to keep himself afloat before he was saved by heroes Ellie Hughes and Khloe Woods, 14, who were walking along the riverbank in Warrington.
They heard his screams for help and created a human chain to get him out of the freezing cold water.
Outside court Bridgeman said: "Obviously I’m very sorry and that, you know, it wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t realise he was 74 years old."
Mr Bridgeman added: "Obviously everyone makes mistakes in life. Do you know what I mean? That’s the honest truth from the bottom of my heart. There’s not much I can say."
His mum, who was with her son, said: "For me, I want the elderly gentleman to get better because my son’s not a rogue.
"It was something that he did, stupidly, at the minute and nobody wants the fella. What's the word? Suffer.
"So for me, all I want is for that man to just get his life back because it shouldn’t have happened."
Pointing to her son, she adds: "He’s well in the wrong and he knows he’s in the wrong, 100%."
Benjamin adds: "Back in court in three weeks so everyone will see me get sentenced then which I know that’s what everybody wants.
"So, you’ll see me do my time which I deserve and yeah man sorry for what I’ve done and that is it."
In a Victim Personal Statement, the victim’s wife said her husband "believes he could have drowned that day, if it had not have been for the young girls that helped him out."
A CPS spokesperson added: "She says he has changed since the attack and has become aggressive, depressed and is reluctant to go out."
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