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Police drop investigation into black boy who ‘lost finger running from bullies’

A boy who lost a finger as he ran away from an alleged attack by schoolchildren has moved with his family away from the area where it’s claimed he faced ‘constant’ bullying (Picture: Media Wales)

Police have ended their probe into an incident that saw a young boy lose a finger last year.

Shantal Bailey claims her 11-year-old son Raheem has suffered constant bullying, including racist and physical attacks, since starting school at the Abertillery Learning Community in Blaenau Gwent, Wales.

In May last year, she alleged Raheem had been beaten on school premises.

Fleeing the attack, he injured his right hand on nearby railings so badly that his ring finger had to be amputated.

The school was closed for several days after Raheem was first taken to hospital, and the family later moved from Wales to England.

After more than nine months of investigating the incident, which involved questioning several people under caution, Gwent Police have now finished their inquiries and decided that no further action will be taken.

Authorities say that Raheem left school grounds ‘of his own accord’. They add that no-one else was involved in the boy injuring his hand.

A statement from Gwent Police said: ‘We received a report of an assault of an 11-year-old boy at a school in Abertillery on Tuesday, May 17.

‘All reports of this nature are taken extremely seriously by Gwent Police.

‘Officers have interviewed several people under caution and viewed CCTV footage from the school.

‘Our investigation found that Raheem left the school premises of his own accord and no other persons were involved in him sustaining the injury to his hand.

‘After undertaking a detailed and thorough investigation we will not be taking any further action.

‘We’ve met with Raheem’s family and informed them of the outcome of the investigation.’

However, other reports state that Raheem’s mother Shantal first learnt of the police decision to drop the investigation via the press.

She is understood to be weighing legal action against local authorities, reportedly describing the conclusion that no-one had been involved in the incident as ‘a complete insult’.

She told The Independent: ‘I am overwhelmingly disappointed by the police’s decision to take no further action in Raheem’s case.

‘Although the police had indicated to me that this was the likely outcome, I feel that their statement makes it clear that they have taken at face value all other versions of events other than Raheem’s.’

She added: ‘He is the victim in this and has been left with a life-changing injury.

‘My son is still traumatised by what happened to him and has a permanent physical reminder of the torment he suffered that day.’

Shantal further clarified that before the incident took place, Raheem had been the victim of a ‘sustained campaign’ of bullying, and that previous experiences had made him feel that reporting his treatment to the school would not improve his situation.

Leigh Day, the legal firm representing the Bailey family in making a complaint against Gwent Police, added: ‘We echo our client’s disappointment, not only with the conclusion arrived at by the police but by the way they have chosen to communicate this, which seems to lay any blame with Raheem and exonerate all others.

‘The altercation that led to him leaving school should be re-examined. Raheem had been reporting the bullying he had suffered for months but he felt that nothing was done by the school to help him.’

After news of Raheem’s amputation made news last year, an outpouring of public support saw a fundraising campaign raise more than £100,000 for his treatment, which includes a prosthetic finger to replace the one he lost.

Raheem was also reported to have received support from a number of celebrities and high-profile public figures, including boxer Anthony Joshua, footballers Jadon Sancho and Ashley Williams, and Olympic BMX biker Kye Whyte.


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