Teen Robert Harden locked up for stabbing sister's boyfriend Alex Betts at Sittingbourne Community College
by Alan McGuinness
A teenage thug who stabbed a schoolboy with scissors on the
sports field of a Sittingbourne school has been sentenced to
14 months in youth custody.
Robert Harden admitted assaulting Alex Betts, causing him actual
bodily harm, in the attack seen by dozens of staff and pupils in
The 18-year-old, of The Trafalgar Hotel, Rushenden Road,
Queenborough, also admitted assaulting his sister Anne Harden,
James Whitehead and Jack Sayer.
Maidstone Crown Court today heard Harden was
annoyed 17-year-old Alex was in a relationship with his
He had been drinking when he went to Sittingbourne Community
College, in Swanstree Avenue, where a charity football match
involving staff and pupils was being played.
Andrew Espley, prosecuting, said Harden walked towards Alex and
Miss Harden and said: "Oi you. I want f****** you."
He punched Alex three or four times before Miss Harden stepped
in and tried to break it up, the court heard.
Her brother pushed her away and continued to attack Alex,
punching him a further three or four times in the head.
He then stabbed him with a pair of scissors on the left side of
his stomach, Mr Espley said.
James Whitehead tried to pull Harden away, but was punched.
Jack Sayer, who tried to help Alex, was also hit.
Eventually, a teacher grabbed the scissors from Harden and put
him in a headlock. Another called 999.
Harden shouted: "The boy’s a nonce, he should not be going out
with my sister."
Mr Espley said Harden had numerous convictions for violence and
had previously been sentenced for 12 months' detention and training
for actual bodily harm.
Alex Rooke, defending, said Harden had not gone to the college
with the intention of confronting Alex and wanted to take his
He said: "He's sorry for what he's done and feels shame at his
"There's an awareness that what he did was wrong."
Judge Philip Statman said: "This was a persistent and ugly
attack on four individuals and in my view well and truly passes the
The school offered counselling to those who witnessed the
stabbing at the match, which was watched by around 100 staff and
Alex, from Kemsley, was treated at Medway Maritime Hospital.
He later returned to the school for the rescheduled match and
was presented with an Arsenal shirt.
Harden will serve half of his sentence, less the 28 days he has
already served on remand.
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