Boy (10) `put through hell', says mother

 

A WOMAN whose son ran from a Belfast courtroom in tears during intense cross-examination in an indecent assault trial, has claimed the case against the boy's alleged attacker has been dropped.

The 10-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, broke down during two hours of questioning on Friday at Belfast Magistrates court.

He was allegedly indecently assaulted twice in a Belfast park last year. As he fled the courtroom, he punched the elderly defendant and called him a "bastard".

The child's mother said that her son had been "put through hell" during cross-examination and couldn't "take it any more".

She said she had been told by the DPP's office that unless her son returned to the witness box, the case would be dropped. No one from the DPP's office was available for comment last night.

The woman said she would never have allowed her son to give evidence had she realised how intense the cross-examination would be. "My son had to go into court and stand just a few feet away from his attacker," she said.

"He was in the witness box for almost two hours. I felt nervous and under pressure and I wasn't being cross-examined. He was made to feel like he was on trial. The defendant wasn't even asked one question. He has been able to walk away from this whole thing unscathed, whereas my son has been put through hell."

The woman is planning to lodge a formal complaint about the case.