December 2017

Boxer punched boy, 3, then used Manchester Arena bombing as an excuse


A former boxer repeatedly punched a three-year-old boy in the legs while babysitting – then blamed his behaviour on the Manchester Arena bombing.

Daniel Rigg-Watts flew into a rage at the boy throwing his toys on the floor, verbally abusing the toddler and smacking him.

At Manchester Crown Court, the 27-year-old asked for mercy, claiming that life had been ‘difficult’ for him since his brother was injured in the terror attack in May.

But he was jailed for 11 months after admitting cruelty to a child.

Judge Richard Mansell QC said: ‘It was nonsense for you to think that you could chastise a child in this way. This is the age when you are supposed to praise them – not hurt them.’

The court heard a horrified eyewitness looked on as Rigg-Watts, of Fleetwood, Lancashire, punched the toddler, giving him a dead leg which caused him temporary difficulty in walking.

As he beat the child, Rigg-Watts, a family friend of the boy’s mother, told him: ‘You little t**t, you’re an a******e just like your dad.’

Prosecutor Andrea Lock said: ‘He called him names like ‘little b*****d’ and punched the child on the legs to give him a dead leg.

‘The punches were forceful, like a punch meant for an adult.’

She added that the boy has since started school but is now so clingy with his mother she has to ‘calm him down’ every time she drops him off at the gates.

The judge said: ‘He trusted in you and you threw that back in his face. He was vulnerable.

‘He was scared of your presence. If you went to pick something up off the floor he flinched automatically. I find your basis of plea is nonsense, the over chastisement of a child in this way is ridiculous.

‘You used your strength as a former self-professed boxer and that was much much too hard for a child of that age.’