Police are investigating a shocking assault on a teenager which resulting in his plummeting 50ft, breaking his back and being left paralysed.
18 year-old Joshua Davies, who had reported the bullies to police before, was chased while he was walking by the River Taff with a pal. The teenager tried to escape by climbing onto the steel supports of a nearby bridge, but the bullies refused to give up and pelted Joshua with rocks and stones until he lost his grip.
Joshua plunged 50ft down, landing partly in the river and partly on the rocky bank. The teenager broke his arms, legs, feet and spine in the fall. Despite three operations in hospital, he cannot sit up and is likely to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Joshua, who is from Pontypridd in South Wales, told his stepfather, 35 year-old Michael Morgan, what had happened from his hospital bed in the University Hospital of Wales. Disgusted Michael said: “Joshua and his friend were walking by the river, when they realised some boys were following them. They heard them shout ‘there they are – let’s get them!’ and climbed on to the steel supports of the bridge to get away.”
“These are life-changing injuries – he has been paralysed from the waist down and is going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But he is just happy to be alive. When he was on the floor, he thought he was not going to make it.”
Michael also spoke about the previous bullying Joshua has experienced: “He has been forced to avoid certain areas, which has made him a prisoner in his own community. He has felt threatened and been constantly on edge – all because he is an easy target.
“He is very trusting and can be easily manipulated. He does not always have a sense of danger. We have tried to instil it into him, but you can’t wrap him up in cotton wool, although now I wish we had done. I believe this could have been prevented. Joshua reported having issues with local boys, but his problems were brushed under the carpet because they thought he was messing around.”
A spokesman for South Wales Police, Detective Inspector David Peart said: “I can confirm that South Wales Police responded to allegations of assault on three separate occasions between April 2011 and June 2014. On each occasion, a thorough investigation took place and appropriate action was taken. There is no evidence to suggest that the incident which took place on August 17 is connected.”
South Wales Police also confirmed that three youths, aged 15, 15 and 16, have been arrested. They are all on police bail while the police continue their enquiries.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the South Wales Police on 101, or alternatively, to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Funding raising campaign for Joshua: Joshua Davies