Bristol dad's anger as autistic boy suffers head injury after being 'hit with paddle'

  • 'It's terrible' - boy's dad speaks to ITV News after alleged attack

The father of a 12-year-old autistic boy who was injured after an alleged racist assault by a woman with a paddle say he has been left with a “scar for life”.

Antwon Forrest suffered a deep cut to his head during an incident on a Bristol riverbank on March 26.

Avon and Somerset Police attended, took statements at the scene and interviewed the suspect.

The woman claimed she was acting in self-defence after a group of children threw mud at people on the water.

Just shy of three weeks after the incident, on April 14, the family received a letter from the force which said no further action would be taken.

The letter confirmed the woman admitting pushing Antwon with a paddle in her hand but went on to say there was "no realistic prospect of conviction" if the matter was to go to court.

Antwon's dad Tyran Forrest described the news as a "kick in the teeth", saying his son has been left "scared and upset" by the incident.

"I knew she wasn't going to jail or anything like that," he said. "But I thought that it might have at least gone on her record or she'd be given a fine.

Antwon, 12, suffered a deep cut to his head

He added: "For a father to see their son injured in that way, and it just to be pushed to one side, it's not a nice thing at all. I'm deeply upset about it.

"It's not nice that he's going to have a scar for life now."

Police have since agreed to re-investigate the case and Tryan met with officers today (9 May).

“They've been doing stuff over the weekend,” he said. “Hopefully in the next two weeks we'll see an outcome of what will happen."

Antwon's family fear he may have been singled out due to his race.

"When I got hit I was just so confused about what was happening to me," he said.

"I was the only mixed-race boy there and she only came for me. It was just confusing."

In a statement, Avon and Somerset Police said: "This incident was taken seriously at the time with officers attending, taking statements from the child and an adult family friend and interviewing a suspect at a police station.

"Officers believed the available evidence would not lead to a realistic prospect of conviction and all parties were updated.

"Victims have a right to request a review in such cases. After becoming aware of the concerns of the injured boy's family we got in touch and have initiated a review of the case."

  • Chief Inspector Mike Buck speaks to ITV News West Country

Speaking to ITV News West Country today, Chief Inspector Mike Buck confirmed the force's criminal investigation team are looking into the assault allegation again.

"Any time a victim is concerned about a decision we've reached then we will review that investigation," he said.

He also confirmed the incident has been recorded as a racist incident.

Police are calling for any witnesses to get in touch via 101 quoting 522207189.