Uncle’s ‘play fighting’ gets out of hand at children’s party: court case

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

The host of a children’s party was attacked by the birthday boy’s uncle “in front of frightened and upset” youngsters, a court heard.

Kieron John Morgan (30) had lost his temper and pushed Stacey Whitehead over, causing her to land sideways. She ended up bruised and hurt after the outburst at her Burnley home.

The town’s magistrates were told how the pair had argued after Morgan, who has similar offences on his record, had been “ play-fighting,” going round the afternoon party nipping women’s arms. He reacted badly when Stacey Whitehead was annoyed, rowed with her, grabbed her and pushed her.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said the victim told police she was disgusted the assault happened in front of the children. The prosecutor continued: “She describes them as scared and no doubt they would be upset.”

Morgan, of Cog Lane, Burnley, admitted assault by beating. He was ordered to pay £50 compensation to Stacey Whitehead and also £85 court costs.

Mrs Mann told the hearing the victim lived in the same area as the defendant and described him as her cousin, although she said she had only known him for a short period of time.

Stacey Whitehead was hosting the children’s party and 10 youngsters were present. Morgan was the uncle of the child whose birthday it was and was there. The children were in the front room playing and everyone was having a good time. The adults were not drinking, it was just a normal children’s party and they were having fun.

The prosecutor continued: “The defendant was play-fighting, going round the room nipping adult females on the arm. Eventually, this starts to wear a bit thin. He bumped into one of the children and said: ‘No more play-fighting from me’, in effect telling himself off. He then nipped Stacey Whitehead on the arm and she got annoyed and told him: ‘You just said you’re not play fighting any more.’ The defendant reacted badly and left the property.”

Mrs Mann said after a while Stacey Whitehead went outside and the pair carried on having a disagreement. “Eventually, he lost his temper and grabbed me, pushed me through the door and pushed me over and I fell onto the sofa. It was with a lot of force and caused me to land sideways. “”

Mrs Mann said when he was interviewed by police, Morgan was very remorseful and apologetic.

He accepted what he had done and that it was his fault. She added: “Stacey Whitehead is not asking for any sort of ancillary orders. Hopefully, this will blow over.”

David Lawson, in mitigation, said the incident was probably not witnessed by the children as it occurred in the doorway. He told the hearing: “It was a very childish act, he accepts.”

The solicitor said the defendant had left the party after a row, then realised he had gone without some belongings and returned. He continued: “When he returned, he accepts the occupant was not best pleased to see him and that resulted in an argument at the door. She refused to hand over some of his belongings and he accepts he pushed her in the chest, not intending her to fall, but he accepts she did, causing her some discomfort.”

Bench chairman Mr John James told the defendant: “For a man of your age you should know better.”