A householder has been jailed for handcuffing a "trick or treat" prankster to his washing line and putting a lit firework between his buttocks. Lorry driver Stephen Gregory lost his temper after his 15-year-old victim repeatedly knocked on the door of his Smalley, Derbyshire, home on Halloween. He pulled down the teenager's trousers and hit him with a cane and a riding crop, before placing the lit banger between his buttocks to frighten him. The firework was removed before it went off and the victim was then attached to Gregory's washing line with a pair of toy handcuffs as onlookers laughed. Gregory was jailed for 14 months at Derby Crown Court.
The victim's mother said the teenager returned home "shaking, crying, hysterical and gasping between breaths". The 54-year-old, of Radford Road, admitted two counts of kidnap and two assaults causing actual bodily harm on October 31 last year. Judge Michael Cullum said: "This is about a somewhat bizarre and extreme example of horseplay. You behaved inappropriately to a youth who had been knocking on your door causing you irritation. The fact you repeated what you may have seen as light-hearted punishment makes it far more serious."
The court heard the victim had been playing a game called "knock and run" with friends and had tapped on Gregory's front door three times that evening. Julie Warburton, prosecuting, said the teenager had intended it as a joke but it annoyed Gregory because it made his dog bark and meant he had to repeatedly answer the door. Another teenager chased the boy and brought him back to the house, where Gregory "pulled his trousers down". Miss Warburton said: "He hit him with a cane on the bottom and thighs." The victim managed to escape, amid shouting from his friends, but the second teenager caught him and brought him back to Gregory's house again "in a headlock".
His trousers were again pulled down and a lit banger was put between his buttocks, causing him to fear he would be burned. It was removed before it exploded as a group of onlookers laughed, said Miss Warburton. She said: "He was then handcuffed by both wrists to a washing line and had to stand on tiptoes, although both his feet were still touching the ground." The victim was then struck with a riding crop across the legs and buttocks, leaving marks 70 centimetres long. In mitigation for Gregory, Quentin Robbins told the court that the lorry driver had never been in trouble before. Judge Cullum ordered the destruction of the toy handcuffs, cane and riding crop.