Police not taking action after boy loses finger running from school

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No further action will be taken by police after a boy lost a finger while running away from school.

Raheem Bailey’s mother, Shantal, alleges her son had faced “constant bullying” and was trying to get away from it.

She claims her 11-year-old son experienced racist and physical attacks when he started at Abertillery Learning Community in Blaenau Gwent, Wales.

Shantal alleges that in May 2022, Raheem was beaten by bullies on the school grounds and later injured his right hand on railings as he attempted to flee.

His hand was so badly injured he had to have a finger amputated, reports Wales Online.

Now, after a nine-month-long investigation that involved speaking to several people under caution, Gwent Police have said that no further action will be taken.

They say that Raheem left the school “of his own accord” and that nobody else was involved in him injuring his hand.

Since the incident, the family has moved from Wales to England.

They have been informed by police about the outcome of the investigation.

A fundraising campaign following the amputation raised £107,000 in donations for Raheem’s treatment.

Shantal is now looking into having a prosthetic fitted for her son.

She said he has mostly accepted his “new normal” but he occasionally gets down.

A statement from Gwent Police said: “We received a report of an assault of an 11-year-old boy at a school in Abertillery on Tuesday, May 17.

“All reports of this nature are taken extremely seriously by Gwent Police.

“Officers have interviewed several people under caution and viewed CCTV footage from the school.

“Our investigation found that Raheem left the school premises of his own accord and no other persons were involved in him sustaining the injury to his hand.

“After undertaking a detailed and thorough investigation we will not be taking any further action.

“We’ve met with Raheem’s family and informed them of the outcome of the investigation.”

The statement added: “We have worked closely with the school leadership team and the local authority and have appreciated their cooperation through this complex investigation.

“We all remain committed to keeping children safe.”

A statement from Blaenau Gwent council, where Abertillery Learning Community is based, said the school had “fully supported” the investigation and an independent review to identify what lessons could be learned would now get underway.

It added: “First and foremost a young person has suffered a life-changing injury and our thoughts remain with the learner and his family.

“The learning community did everything to support all learners affected, including doing everything possible to care for the injured learner at the time of the accident.

“The school and the council have fully supported the investigation from the outset and have cooperated as required with all aspects of evidence gathering.

“The well-being and safety of pupils and staff at the learning community, as in all Blaenau Gwent Schools, remains of paramount importance.”

They added that it had been an “extremely difficult” time for all involved, saying: “The incident, unfortunately, led to widespread commentary on social media and in the press, including by some high-profile stakeholders.

“The press and social media coverage fuelled unhelpful speculation during an ongoing police investigation when the school and the council were unable to comment.

“Now the official police investigation has concluded the council is commissioning an independent review to identify any lessons learned to help inform future incident management responses.

“Abertillery Learning Community and the council is appreciative of the support from families, colleagues, and the wider community and is pleased this has now reached a conclusion.”

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