Thug, 23, who stabbed boy, 12, on a bouncy castle in front of his screaming mother at a child’s birthday party in revenge for throwing stones is jailed

A thug who stabbed a 12-year-old boy on a bouncy castle during his little sister’s birthday party because he had been throwing stones has been jailed.

Mason Clague, 23, and an unidentified accomplice launched a ‘frenzied’ attack on the youngster in the back garden of his grandmother’s house in Bootle, Merseyside, on April 7, 2021.

The boy was punched and kicked and sustained four stab wounds to his thigh and buttocks, as his terrified mother watched on and screamed.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the boy left his sister’s eighth birthday party with a 14-year-old friend to buy drinks from a nearby shop.

The pair went onto a grassy area on Southport Road and began ‘larking about’ and throwing stones, one of which narrowly missed Clague as he crossed the street towards his own property. 

Mason Clague, 23, and an unidentified accomplice launched a ‘frenzied’ attack on the youngster in the back garden of his grandmother’s house in Bootle, Merseyside, on April 7, 2021

Clague became enraged, ran into his house and emerged with the other man. 

The pair chased the two youngsters back into the garden where the party was being held, where Clague knocked the younger boy onto the bouncy castle and ‘punched, kicked and kneed’ him. 

The victim described feeling a ‘poke in the leg’ and believed he had been knifed by both men – one of whom he identified as his grandmother’s neighbour, Clague.

The chaos was broken up by the boy’s mother, who bravely shielded her son with her own body and shouted: ‘He’s only 12.’

Prosecutor Robert Wyn Jones said: ‘The boy was stabbed four times in the thigh and buttocks. It is fortuitous there was not more lasting damage, or worse. 

‘The defendant had a leading role in this attack. He began the attack, he continued the attack, and he made further threats as he left.

‘This was an attack on a 12-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic event which has changed his life during his formative years.’

The court heard the boy had been diagnosed with PTSD following the stabbing, struggled to sleep, and had to be pulled out of school due to anxiety and panic attacks.

Anthony Barraclough, defending, said Clague, an Edge Hill University student, maintained his not guilty plea. 

The boy had been attending his younger sister’s eighth birthday party at his grandmother’s house

He said: ‘Your Honour may find (Clague) was not the stabber, but Man 2 was, and that despite all the evidence that you heard, Man 1 – the person identified as Mason Clague – didn’t cause any identifiable injury to the victim.

‘He is a man of very low conviction and there are a lot of reference for what worth they are. It may well be that the person with the most brilliant background can act out of character.’

Sentencing, Judge Knifton said: ‘Around 2pm, the boy and his friend left the party in order to go to a shop. 

‘They delayed on the route and were throwing stones outside your house. 

‘One of the stones narrowly missed hitting you as you crossed the road towards your home; although you justifiably shouted in protest, you then decided to exact a much greater revenge.

‘You recruited the assistance of a second male and the two of you chased the boys back to the house where the party was being held. 

‘Undeterred that the boys made it through the gate and into the garden, and despite the fact that it must have been immediately apparent that there were likely to be children in the vicinity, you subjected the boy to your frenzied attack, knocking him onto the bouncy castle, punching him, kneeing him and kicking him.

‘Despite the boy’s mother bravely intervening to stop the attack, protesting her son was only 12, you clearly responded that you didn’t care, threatening to kill him and to – in your words – ‘chop the lot of youse’. 

‘Whether or not you actually inflicted the stab wounds, those responses indicate to me you were aware of the knife and were supportive, knowing the serious injuries that were likely to result.’

The chaos was broken up by the boy’s mother, who bravely shielded her son with her own body and shouted: ‘He’s only 12.’

Clague was found guilty of wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm following a trial in October and was this week sentenced to six years in prison.

The judge also issued a restraining order, banning him from contacting the victim and his family for 10 years.

Emotions then boiled over, as Clague’s supporters shouted across the courtroom at the young victim’s family.

As the defendant was taken to the cells, a woman said: ‘The truth’s going to come out that he didn’t do it.’

A man stormed out of the room shouting: ‘You f***ing tramps’, while a woman on the victim’s side shot back: ‘You f***ing d***head.’

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