Man faces jail for homophobic abuse against nine-year-old boy

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Craig Stodden admitted to striking and swearing at the boy.

A man is facing jail after admitting to striking a nine-year-old boy and shouting homophobic slurs at him. The incident took place last year, on 7 December.

Craig Stodden admitted to the Kilmarnock Sheriff Court that he struck the boy, and shouted homophobic names at him. Stodden also forced the boy out of a house, in Ayr, in heavy rain with no shoes or jacket.

The Irvine Times reports that fiscal depute Vicky McMillan told the court: “He shouted at the boy ‘get the fuck out of here’.

“This caused the boy to cry. The accused bent down to him and shouted ‘Why the fuck are you crying? and then struck him to the chest.

“This caused the boy to fall on to the floor. His mother went to see him and she told the accused to leave the child alone. The accused then called the child ‘a pussy, a gayboy and a homosexual’ and then stated ‘Get the fuck out I don’t want you in this house anymore.”

McMillan explained to the court how the boy was found outside by people in a passing car, who took him to the police station after being perplexed at his lack of jacket and shoes in the heavy rain. When the boy’s mother reporting him missing, she was told he was at the police station, and she later took him to hospital.

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“The child was taken to Crosshouse Hospital and assessed and was found to have bruising to his chest,” McMillan told the court.

Stoddart will have to wait to be sentenced, after Sheriff MacFarlane adjourned the case for further reports. However, she warned Stoddart that he faced a serious punishment.

“I was just thinking there must have been a very good reason for you to behave like this, but I can’t think of any reason why you would say that to this boy,” she said.

“The impact on that young boy will probably be lifelong. I’m glad I’m not sentencing you today. I’m glad I will have three weeks to reflect.”

Stoddart will return to be sentenced on October 23.

Related: Homophobic hate crime charges fall in UK despite dramatic rise in reports

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