Raheem Bailey: Police drop investigation into finger-loss bullying claimon February 10, 2023 at 2:55 pm

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Gwent Police is taking no further action into claims an 11-year-old lost a finger fleeing bullies.

Raheem and mumImage source, Rob Browne/Wales Online

Police have dropped an investigation into an alleged assault in which an 11-year-old boy lost a finger.

Raheem Bailey, a pupil at Abertillery Learning Community in Blaenau Gwent, claimed he caught his finger climbing a fence trying to escape bullies.

Gwent Police said it took such reports “extremely seriously” but the nine-month investigation has concluded no-one else was involved in the injury.

The force said it had met Raheem’s family to inform them of the outcome.

Raheem’s mother Shantal Bailey said her son was attacked on 17 May by a group of children who kicked him when he was on the floor.

Raheem underwent surgery following the incident but doctors had to amputate the finger.

Gwent Police described the investigation as “complex” and said: “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.”

Raheem

Image source, Rob Browne/Wales Online

Boxer Anthony Joshua and footballer Jadon Sancho were among those to send messages of support to Raheem.

Ms Bailey set up a fundraising campaign following the incident which has received over £100,000 in donations. She is looking into having a prosthetic fitted.

Gwent Police added: “We have worked closely with the school leadership team and the local authority and have appreciated their co-operation though this complex investigation.

“We all remain committed to keeping children safe.”

Blaenau Gwent council said its thoughts were with Raheem and his family and that it was commissioning an independent review to identify any lessons to improve the response to future incidents.

“First and foremost, a young person has suffered a life-changing injury, and our thoughts remain with the learner and his family,” a council statement read.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for all involved. 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.”

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