Boy admits pouring bleach over woman

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A teenager today admitted pouring bleach over a woman who had asked him to be quiet in a cinema.

A jury heard how Annette Warden, 46, was "terrified" when a 16-year-old boy walked up to her in a busy restaurant and squirted the liquid over her head as she was having meal with her husband and two children on 26 July.

Leeds Crown Court was told how the family had earlier been watching Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince at the Vue cinema, in Kirkstall Road, Leeds, when they were disturbed by a group of youths.

A jury was told how the teenagers' phones kept going off and they were being noisy so Mrs Warden asked them to be quiet before calling for a member of staff.

Later, as the family went into the nearby Frankie and Benny's restaurant the defendant leaned out of a car and shouted "you f****** slag" at her.

The court heard how the youth then went to a service station and bought a blue bottle of Domestos bleach.

He was driven back to the leisure complex, went straight into the restaurant and squirted the liquid on to the top of Mrs Warden's head.

The liquid ran on to her face and she had to be treated with saline solution at hospital, although she was not seriously injured.

In a statement read to the court, Mrs Warden said: "I was terrified and at the same time scared for my children."

The jury was told how the 16-year-old has admitted causing Mrs Walden actual bodily harm but he denies the more serious charge of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

The youth, who is tall and has an Afro-style haircut and a beard, sat in the dock with a security guard listening to the evidence.

The court heard how the group of teenagers were sitting on the back row of the cinema with one empty chair between them and Mrs Warden.

In her statement, the victim said: "Throughout the film the group were texting each other and mumbling.

"Their phones kept lighting up and ringing."

She described how the defendant shouted "yeah, go on" at a point in the film when Harry Potter was kicked in the head.

Mrs Warden said she went to fetch a member of staff when the disturbance continued and the teenagers were warned they could be thrown out.

After the screening had finished, Mrs Warden said she talked to the staff again. The court was told she was given a set of free tickets.

The jury heard how the teenagers, including the defendant, got in a car and drove off after they left the cinema and shouted the abuse at Mrs Warden as she was entering the restaurant with her husband, John, and her two sons.

In other statements, youths in the car said the defendant was very excited and said he wanted to go back to confront the woman.

He asked the driver to go to a nearby garage but the others said they did not know what he bought there. One thought it was eggs, the court heard.

The defendant went into the restaurant by himself and attacked Mrs Warden from behind.

She said: "It (the bleach) kept coming and fell all down the right side of my face and into my eyes.

"I didn't know what it was at first.

"Then I smelt bleach and my eyes started stinging."

The court heard how Mrs Warden rushed to a nearby toilet where she was helped as she sobbed.

Her husband ran after the youth but the defendant jumped into a car and left the scene after discarding the bleach bottle.

Mrs Warden was taken to hospital where she was treated with injection freezing and saline.

She said in her statement her hair was bleached white and grey and her blouse was damaged in the attack. Some of the bleach also hit her husband and one of her sons.

Tim Capstick, prosecuting, told the jury of eight women and four men: "The only issue for you to decide is what his intent was at the time.

"We suggest that although he did not in fact cause her serious harm, that was clearly his intent on the evening in question."