A TEENAGER who kicked a pensioner into a freezing canal and “ran away laughing” has said “I’ll do time”.
Benjamin Bridgeman, 18, admitted assaulting the 74-year-old on the banks of the River Mersey in Warrington, Cheshire.
Benjamin Bridgeman, from Orford, was filmed by friends carrying out the cowardly attackCredit: SWNS
He kicked the pensioner into the canal in a cowardly attack as a friend filmedCredit: SWNS
The yob was filmed by pals shoving the OAP into the water as he fished before running away laughing.
His victim’s wife told court her husband is “confused and fearful” and feels “lucky to be alive” after the assault.
Brigeman will be sentenced next month and was released on bail at Warrington Magistrates Court yesterday.
As he left court, the teen thug claimed he didn’t know how old the man was, claiming he was “very sorry”.
YOB SAYS ‘SORRY’
He told the Warrington Guardian: “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.
“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.”
The court that the pensioner was on the banks of the river in Howley around 2.30pm on April 25.
It wasn’t supposed to happen, I didn’t realise he was 74 years old
Bridgeman performed a flying kick to the OAP’s back, who plunged into the canal.
The OAP’s puffer jacket began filled with water and he was struggling to breathe in the canal.
Unable to get out, he “just about managed to keep his head above water” before being rescued by two 14-year-old Good Samaritans.
He then walked home soaking wet and shivering, before his family reported the sickening crime to the police.
Bridgeman handed himself into police following an appeal for information.
In a statement to the court, the OAP’s wife said: “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.
“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.
The pensioner had been sitting alone near riverside retail park before he was approached by two or three teensCredit: Google Maps
The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to assault in connection with the incident at Warrington Magistrates CourtCredit: SWNS
“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.”
District Judge Ian Barnes, who heard the defendant had ADHD, said the assault was “shocking and serious incident”.
He said: “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.”
A 15-year-old boy from Warrington who videoed the callous assault will be sentenced in a youth court next week.
Lydia Durkin, prosecuting, said: “This was an entirely motiveless attack on an elderly man who was simply enjoying a day’s fishing by the banks of the Mersey.
“Both of the defendants had apparently no thought for the seriousness of what they were doing.
“The victim could have drowned – he certainly says that’s what he feared was going to happen.
“The victim has been left badly shaken up by this.”
The vctim also lost a pendant attached to his keyring from his dad, who he never knew.
It was later found by a well-wisher who joined in a search.”