Raising cash for Romeo

Romeo Smith, 9, with his mum Natasha and dad Craig
Romeo Smith, 9, with his mum Natasha and dad Craig

The mother of a man with autism has started raising money for nine-year-old Mansfield boy Romeo Smith – who also has autism and who hit the headlines when bullies left a nail embedded in his head.

Romeo’s story went national after first being reported by your Chad – and 50-year-old Michaela Boddy, from Lutterworth, Leicestershire, said she was touched by it.

Michaela said she has a 21-year-old son with autism who has also suffered at the hands of bullies throughout his life.

She has created a GoFundMe, raising £250 already, and is hosting an event in Skegness to raise money for the family to help them move house, as the bullies who attacked Romeo live around the corner.

Michaela, whose son lives in supported accommodation on Sherwood Avenue, Mansfield, said: “It really touched me as my son who has autism was bullied thought his life.

“My passion for autism goes back 21 years.

“These children are no different than other children, the attack was absolutely horrific.”

Romeo from Mansfield, was found by his father near his home trapped in a tree by three boys who were brandishing sticks and calling the boy cruel names.

Romeo came down as he saw his dad Craig, 35, arrive, but as they walked away one of the boys picked up a plank of wood – with a nail attached – and threw it, causing the nail to pierce the skin at the back of his head.

The event in Skegness takes place at the Lumley bar, on Friday, September 15 starting at 7,30pm and features a double barrel sound system charity night including a disco and a raffle.

Raffle prizes include chocolate donated by Lidl and Thorntons, while Fantasy Island, an amusement park in Ingoldmells, near Skegness, has also donated four wristbands.

Michaela said: “We hope that hosting the event in Skegness will get people from all areas getting together to donate money to the boy.

“Everyone is welcome to come down.

“We need to raise awareness of bullying, especially with cases like Romeo’s.”