The mother of a boy assaulted by a school worker has spoken out on her son's ordeal. Mark Casey, who at the time of the attack was a learning support officer at Pencoed Comprehensive School in Bridgend county, was ordered to pay £607 after pleading guilty to the assault.

WalesOnline successfully applied to change a reporting restriction and is now able to report that the offence took place at Pencoed Comprehensive. In April last year Casey, a 60-year-old from Maesteg, assaulted a pupil, Tom (not his real name), by beating. The boy's mother told us: "It happened at the end of a lesson when Mr Casey told everyone to line up to leave, then he said, 'All the noisy ones at the back.' Tom stood at the front, then Mr Casey said, 'You go to the back.' He stood behind Tom, put his arms around him, clenched his fingers into Tom's stomach and pulled him back. When Tom came home he showed me the red marks on his stomach."

Tom's mum added that the assault came after she had been warning the school for months about her concerns over Mr Casey. She claimed the learning support officer would refuse to let her son go to the toilet during class and would joke that he should "pee in the corner or in a bottle". The mum said the school admitted to her that Mr Casey had made her son spend one lesson in a closet following what the school worker considered to be bad behaviour. She made complaints to the school but felt they were "always brushed under the carpet" and that action was not taken.

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She said: "My son is a bubbly character. Most people take an instant liking to him. He is funny and witty, and he is such a loving kid. He is the type of child where if a teacher shouts that everyone has to be quiet, Tom will say: 'Everyone's quiet.' He shouldn't say it, but at the end of the day he shouldn't be told he has to wait in a closet for the rest of the lesson. Every day my son would suffer with anxiety knowing he would have this person teaching him. He'd love it whenever he had someone else."

Her son stopped having lessons with Mr Casey after the assault. It was reported to the school immediately, but the mum says the school did not involve South Wales Police until four days later when she warned she would contact the force herself if the school failed to do so. Last October Mr Casey left his role at the school and in the same month he pleaded not guilty to assault. But on the day of a scheduled Cardiff Magistrates' Court trial last month he changed his plea to guilty. The pupil had arrived at court to give evidence when he learned he would not have to do so. "My son had to go through the build-up to the trial for months," said the mum. "He put my son through all that. You could see Tom was nervous and didn't know what to say or do in court."

Casey, of Alma Road in Maesteg, was ordered by District Judge Charlotte Murphy to pay a £220 fine, £300 in prosecution costs and an £87 victim services surcharge. The pupil's mum said she was relieved by the outcome of the case but was disappointed the school had allegedly not offered any support during or after the case. She believes her concerns should have been handled differently from the start. "If they're doing wrong I want them to address it, not to have to go to court," she said, adding that the saga has affected her son's trust of teachers and learning support officers.

A spokesperson for Bridgend council, said: “The safeguarding and wellbeing of learners across Bridgend county borough is our top priority and the school has made all appropriate referrals in line with the latest Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board school safeguarding policy. The investigation in this particular instance was led by South Wales Police. We can also confirm that the learning support officer officially left his position in October 2023 and that the school is now making all necessary referrals to the Education Workforce Council following the conclusion of the case.”