A man who carried out a threat to wash a swearing boy’s mouth out with soap has admitted assault.
Rian Birtwell, 23, used to babysit six-year-old Alfi Forsyth and was angry when he heard him swearing in a park near his home in Washington.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Birtwell bought some soap and forced it into his victim’s mouth.
Birtwell, of Barmston, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay his victim £15.
He was also ordered to pay £85 costs.
Speaking after his conviction, Birtwell said he thought the child needed to be taught a lesson.
He said he used to babysit for the family and never intended to hurt him.
He told the Sunderland Echo: „I accept what I did was wrong, but I meant no harm, I just thought he needed to be taught a lesson because he behaved so badly and used language no six-year-old should be using.“
Lynne Cook, Alfi’s mother, told Radio Newcastle that she had tried to teach her children not to swear.
„I’ve said if you hear anyone swearing, tell me don’t copy,“ she said.
Birtwell’s mother Linda Reed posted a message on the BBC Newcastle Facebook page saying her family now wanted to draw a line under the matter.
„Rian is my son – we don’t air our dirty washing in public.
„He pleaded guilty and agreed he did something wrong and has been forwardly punished by the courts.
„All our family would like a line drawn under this now we hope you understand.“