Lauren Harries (pictured), a transsexual, who was once the child prodigy James Harries, was accused by defence lawyers of turning an attack into a “media circus”
Ms Harries, who rose to national fame in the 1980s as a golden-haired boy antique expert, was attacked together with her father Mark and brother Adam by a gang of youths near to their family home in Cardiff.
A 17 year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on 63-year-old Mark, actual bodily harm on 28-year-old Adam and for criminal damage of the family car. There were no charges made in relation to Lauren despite her suffering injuries.
The boy’s solicitor, Stephen Jones accused the Harries family of exploiting the attack at the hands of his client.
Mr Jones said: “There have been full page spreads in the News of the World, the Daily Mail and several national magazines. One wonders how much the family have profited from this. There can be no question they must have received significant amounts of money for their stories.
It seems that the Harries family have revelled in the incident. It beggars belief – and you can only assume that Lauren said this because otherwise she would be suing the publication – but in a magazine interview she was quoted as saying, ‘I would be attacked again if it brought the same attention.’ It has become something of a media circus.”
Leanne Jonathan, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said the Harries family were well known in the area and that on the night of the attack, the Harries’ heard banging at the door and shouts of “Tranny”.
Ms Jonathan said, “Adam and Mark left the premises and were confronted by a number of youths. Mark said he was head-butted by the defendant who was so close to him he could smell the drink on his breath.
“Mark said the defendant then came at him like a ‘wild bull’ and punched him to the floor and then set about kicking him while he was down. Mark said the defendant then came at him like a ‘wild bull’ and punched him to the floor and then set about kicking him while he was down.”
Despite the violent natures of the crime, the boy did not receive a prison sentence. David Ford, chairman of the magistrates, said: “This crime has taken place with you still as a juvenile and you can thank your lucky stars about that. If you were a year older you would be in an adult court and you would be in serious trouble. Had you pleaded not guilty and were convicted of these offences there is little doubt you would be going to prison today. Your problem with drink has made you an absolute menace to society.”
The court imposed a two-year supervision order, which includes a curfew and electronic tagging in addition to a fine of £1720 in compensation to the Harries family.