Mother condemns attackers who ripped out deaf son's hearing aid
The mother of a deaf schoolboy who had his hearing aid torn out and stamped on by a gang of bullies has said they should be ‘ashamed’.
Speaking for the first time about the incident, Simone Carter has condemned the youths who attacked her 10-year-old son Alfie last month.
A group of six older boys chased him near his home in Beechdale, Walsall, beat him up and then took his hearing aid out before destroying it.
The unprovoked attack took place on Lister Road between 6.15pm and 7pm on September 28 and also saw Alfie kicked and stamped on by members of the gang.
The Bentley West Primary School pupil has been deaf since birth and relies on his hearing aid and sign-language to communicate.
Following the attack, firefighters at West Bromwich Fire Station invited Alfie along to experience a day as one of the team.
Specially trained officers, who can communicate using sign-language, were on hand to chat with him.
He also took a ride in a fire engine, scaled a metal stairway and was taught how to use the hoses.
Speaking at the event, Simone, aged 33, said: “He’s been doing really well.
“We have had so much support and encouragement from everybody.
“He still doesn’t go out by himself but he’s doing well.
“It was devastating for us all, but with the support from everybody and what everybody is doing for him, it’s making him so happy and
encouraging him to build his confidence back up.
“I was devastated as a mum, – it was disgusting – there was no need for what they did to him. I couldn’t believe it when I saw what had happened, it was shocking. They should be ashamed of themselves.”
West Midlands firefighter, and member of the deaf team, Alan Swift, said: "This is about Alfie and making sure we can communicate and he can understand everything that we're doing for him today.
"It just shows that West Midlands Fire Service are making that extra effort to support people with disabilities.
"It's disgusting what they did to him so hopefully he's gained a lot more confidence by coming down to the station.
"This is part of the work that we do for West Midlands Fire Service, the deaf team specifically, we have specialist officers that go out and do various jobs across the community."
Since the attack, almost £6,000 has been raised in an online fundraiser to support the family.
The money was initially collected to pay for new hearing aids, but since it was revealed that the NHS will fund replacements, it will go towards a holiday for the Alfie and his family.
More than 400 people have already donated to the cause, raising more than £5,800, with one contributor donating £500.
The page was set up by former West Midlands police officer Michelle Mansell, who doesn’t know the family, and has seen contributions from the UK and as far away as Israel.
Police are still investigating the incident and anyone with information can contact officers via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am to midnight, on 101, or through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
To donate money to Alfie’s fund, click here.