Men threaten boy over bullying

TWO men threatened a 14-year-old boy and waved a knife-sharpening steel at him because they believed his brother was bullying their relative.

Cuong Van Anh Tran’s son had complained about being bullied by a 10-year-old at his Ipswich school before the incident on September 15 last year.

The court case comes at a time when bullying in schools has become a real issue.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard the 30-year-old chicken-boner and his brother Vong Ang Van Tran, 20, were picking up Cuong’s children from Woodcrest State College when they spotted their child’s alleged tormentor and his 14-year-old brother.

Crown Prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said Cuong – also known as “Kenny” – had been sitting in the driver’s side of his car when he called the complainant and his two younger brothers over.

Cuong asked the 14-year-old boy if he wanted to “bash him”.

“The complainant said that he did not,” Ms Kelso said.

Ms Kelso said Cuong had started swearing. “He reached for his seat belt as though he was going to get out,” Ms Kelso said.

“Cuong looked like he was going to fight and was in the mood to fight.”

Vong then picked up a long knife-sharpening steel and waved it at the 14-year-old. The 14-year-old walked away and called police on his mobile phone. Cuong and Vong drove home.

Ms Kelso said Cuong and Vong admitted the offence to police but said they confronted the 14-year-old boy because the child had told Cuong’s son that he wanted to bash Cuong.

“In his own words he was willing to fight it out with a 14-year-old boy,” she said.

Vong told police he was not going to bash the child with the steel sharpening-knife, but picked it up because he thought the complainant would hurt him.

Defence lawyer Samit Seth said his clients accepted their behaviour was disgraceful but they had reacted to Cuong’s son being bullied.

But Ms Kelso told the court the complainant told police he had been bullied by Cuong’s child rather than the other way around.

Mr Seth said the sharpening steel was in the car because the pair worked in the chicken-boning industry.

Cuong and Vong pleaded guilty to common assault – Cuong was fined $1000 with a conviction recorded and Vong was fined $750 with no conviction recorded.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum said there had been some media coverage recently about bullying, but instead of parents dealing with matters themselves, issues should be taken to the principal.

Ms MacCallum told Cuong that no matter how well built the complainant was, he was still a 14-year-old boy.

“You’re the adult, you’re the one with children, and you’re the one who should’ve known better,” she said.

Woodcrest State College declined to comment.


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