A Derbyshire teenager has been left too frightened to leave his home after being beaten by a gang of bullies he thought wanted to be his friends.
Byron Bridges, 15, said he is now ‘petrified’ to go to school after he was attacked by a group of around 20 youths in Heage.
The youngster had fallen out with fellow pupils at Belper School and received a Facebook message asking him to meet them.
He claims they asked him to join them at Heage Recreation Ground where they would make up and put the past behind them. But when he arrived, he saw a ‘massive’ group of people run towards him. He says that they then started beating him as he tried to escape.
Byron, of Heage, said: “It has knocked my confidence. One of the boys came over and pretended like he was going to shake my hand and swung for me. They were repeatedly punching me and people were shouting and recording it.
“They kept pushing me towards the bushes and I ran through the bushes and went to the bottom field but everyone kept coming. I’m normally quite peaceful and I suffer quite badly with anxiety.
“I’m petrified of going outside the house. I can’t even go to the shop up the road.”
Byron, who is a keen boxer, has been left with two large cuts to his head as well as lumps all over his face and a black eye. He said: “In the night, my eye started hurting and I was getting really bad headaches.The next day I had lumps too and when I blinked it was painful.”
The youngster said that when he finally made his way home, some of the teenagers who attacked him started congregating outside his house in a bid to intimidate him further. Byron’s mum, Lisa Bridges, 36, who works in retail, said: “The state of his face when I saw him - it was awful.”
A Derbyshire police spokesperson said: “Officers are conducting enquiries into the incident, which took place on January 13 at around 2.15pm, and anyone with information is asked to contact us on the 101 and quote reference number 19*20326.”