A boy of ten who claims to have been attacked by a Slovakian woman with an iron bar could be charged with inciting racial hatred, it emerged last night.
Jake Stedman admitted that the woman hit him after he threw a berry at her and told her to 'go back to her own country'.
As a result, the boy - who was left with two black eyes - could become the youngest person in the country ever to be charged with the offence.
A police source said: "There have been allegations that he used racist language and it is necessary for us to investigate the claims."
Jake Stedman was found in a pool of blood after insulting the woman in her 20s, who is believed to have a child at the same primary school.
He says she chased him down an alleyway before repeatedly striking him on the head and back with the 2ft pipe as he cowered on the floor, leaving him with two black eyes.
Now, throwing berries at people, and telling them to go back to their own countries, is not very polite. It's the kind of thing that might justify a stern word and a clip round the ear. But such behaviour does not warrant a police investigation, still less the possibility of prosecution. Of course, there is precedent for it, in the case of George Rawlinson, the ten year-old who was interrogated by two policemen after using the word 'gay' in an e-mail. Still, one hopes that even if the police do regard Jake Stedman's crime as sufficiently serious to be worth prosecuting, the Crown Prosecution Service will refuse to do so. After all, since they apparently believe that a fourteen year-old is too young to know that negative consequences might accrue as a result of shooting someone in the face with an airgun, one cannot see how they could ever justify prosecuting a ten year-old over something like this.
Somewhat more sensibly, the police have also arrested the Slovak immigrant woman, who may now be charged with assault. Hopefully the Kent Police still possess a sufficient degree of residual common sense to enable them to work out that beating up a ten year-old with an iron bar is worse than throwing a berry at someone.
Of course, this is not just a one-off incident. Rather, it comes against a backdrop of heightened tensions between native British families in the area, and the large number of Slovak immigrants who have moved in in recent months and years, and whose children now take up fully a third of places at the local primary school. Locals claim that the Slovak children go around in gangs intimidating and attacking the British children. Whatever the truth of the situation, this case does serve to demonstrate, once again, that if you bring large numbers of people from different backgrounds together in one place, then you are almost inevitably going to get tensions, and, often, violence. A spokesman from Medway Council, commenting on this incident, referred to the importance of community cohesion. But the fact is, that mass immigration serves only to disunite society, and to undermine its cohesiveness. If we don't want to see many more situations like this, then we need to start imposing severe limits on immigration.