A Muslim ‘bully’ grabbed a schoolboy by the throat and threw him to the ground because he saw him hugging a girl in the street, a court heard today.
Michael Coe, 35, was driving through Newham in East London when he spotted the two 16-year-olds cuddling on the pavement, it is claimed.
He allegedly confronted the pair, demanding to know if they were Muslims, before calling the girl a ‘whore’.
Coe was said to have grabbed the boy by the throat, causing him to black out, before he woke up bleeding on the floor.
When passing schoolteacher Boutho Siwela tried to come to the couple’s aid, Coe then allegedly attacked him.
Coe is on trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery.
Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay described the attack as ‘completely unjustifiable’.
He told the jury: ‘This case is about what started as unpleasant bullying with religious overtones in the street, followed by an attack by this 35-year-old man on a 16-year-old schoolboy.
‘This was followed by a further assault on a schoolteacher, a nearby bystander, who came to his aid when he saw what was going on.
‘The victim was, and is, a schoolboy and, in the early evening, he was there with his girlfriend standing on the pavement in the street, cuddling each other in the street.
‘They had the misfortune that, of all the people to drive by, it was this defendant who was driving by in a car.’
Coe allegedly demanded to know if the teenagers were Muslim and when they lied and said that they were not, he replied: ‘Why am I wasting my time with you if you’re not Muslim?’
He then called the girl ‘a whore’ before attacking her boyfriend, Mr Polnay said.
‘He (Coe) grabbed him around the neck, that’s the last thing the victim remembered,’ he added.
‘The next thing the boy woke up on the floor and he was bleeding. This was completely unpleasant and utterly unwarranted – this is a grown man on a child.’
Mr Siwela heard the girl screaming and took a photo of Coe’s number plate as he was getting back into his car.
Mr Polnay continued: ‘The defendant wasn’t having that and he comes over to Mr Siwela and said give me that phone.
‘Mr Siwela didn’t want to hand over his phone so the defendant grabbed him and threw him to the floor. He then got in the car and drove away.’
The victim’s girlfriend, from whom he has now split up, broke down in tears as she described the attack.
Coe lifted the boy off the ground by his jumper and threw him against the wall, knocking him out before kicking him in the head, she said.
‘[The boy] flopped over because I believe he was unconscious. He let go of [the boy] and he flopped to the floor, he was not moving. He kicked [the boy] in the head once, it was quite aggressive.
‘At this point I was screaming and crying because I was scared. I just saw the blood coming from [the boy’s] head.’
When the teacher came over, wearing a motorcycle helmet, Coe apparently picked him up and threw him to the ground in a similar manner.
Two other people ran over because the boy was stumbling to his feet and the girl’s mother came out to help them and call an ambulance.
The girl said she had been holding hands with her boyfriend because she had had a ‘bad day’ and had urged her boyfriend to ‘leave it’ when Coe approached them.
The boy said he was dropping his girlfriend home after they had been revising and giving her a hug goodbye at the bus stop.
He described Coe, driving a silver Ford hatchback, slowing down and then stopping in the middle of the road.
Coe apparently beeped his horn and told him to ‘let that little schoolgirl go.’
The alleged victim said he thought the man believed he was older and that he was ‘doing her a favour and stopping me taking advantage of her.’
He said he was wearing a scarf and a ‘snapback’ baseball hat and walked over towards the car and pulled his scarf back to show Coe his school tie and told him: ‘I’m her boyfriend and I’m the same age as her.’
Coe allegedly said: ‘How would you like it if that was your sister cuddling up to another man?’
‘I just said, ‘My sisters are all older than me, they are all adults, they can do what they like.’
Coe apparently told the boy: ‘You’re not listening to me, should I get out of the car?’
After parking further up the road, the defendant walked back towards the couple, asking if they were Muslims.
The 5ft 7ins schoolboy, who said he weighed 8st 11lbs, admitted that he did not realise how big Coe, who is 6ft 2ins tall, was, until he got out of the vehicle.
‘I could see he was angry and I already felt he was going to attack me,’ the boy said.
‘I felt very uneasy and confused about why he was asking about my religion. I was scared about what might happen next so I said, ‘No I’m not a Muslim.’
At that point, Coe allegedly replied, ‘What was the point?’ before adding: ‘Why are you acting like a punk in front of your whore girlfriend?’
‘I think I said something along the lines, ‘Don’t call her a whore, you don’t know anything about her.’
‘He didn’t say anything else, he turned around and I felt a hand go to my neck and after that I don’t remember anything.
‘The next thing I remember, I woke up with blood on my head and I could feel blood on my face. My head was throbbing and I felt dizzy.’
The jury was shown photographs of cuts to the boy’s head on both sides and blood around his ears. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and treated for two 3cm bruises and abrasions.
Coe denies the two charges against him. He admits assaulting the 16-year-old boy in Newham on April 15 but claims he was acting in self-defence.
The trial continues.