A TEENAGER needs to understand he is not an “enforcer” for his friends, magistrates heard.

The well-built Swindon boy, 14, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had shoved an older man when he approached the lad’s friends with a stick in his hands.

The man suspected the group had been responsible for putting a brick through a pane of glass in his patio doors on February 9. The boys were also said to have been surrounding his wife.

Prosecuting, Nick Barr said the teenager had gone behind the older man and shoved him in the back with both hands. The assault, to which the boy pleaded guilty, had caused no injury.

Julie Coleman of Swindon youth offending team told magistrates: “We do think this boy is probably used by others and it’s because of his size.” The boy needed to realise that “he isn’t a local enforcer and he’s not there to bodyguard his friends”, she added.

Ben Worthington, defending, implied his client had in effect acted in self-defence after his friends were approached by the man carrying the stick. The lad suffered from a high degree of anxiety, he said.

Magistrates extended his youth referral order by three months.