Mom of autistic boy, 14, whose phone was smashed by Cristiano Ronaldo hopes he gets the 'right punishment'
Jacob Harding's mother, Sarah Kelly claims that ever since Cristiano Ronaldo's fans turned against her, she has endured 'six months of torment'
The mother of a youngster with autism whose phone Cristiano Ronaldo broke has pleaded with the FA not to allow him "get away with it." After Everton beat his team at Goodison Park in April, the Manchester United attacker was seen on camera seeming to smack little Jacob Harding's hand.
After smashing the youngster's phone to the ground during a 1-0 loss to Everton, Ronaldo was charged for breaking FA regulations. His mother Sarah Kelly, 37, claims that ever since Ronaldo fans turned on her, she has endured "six months of torment." "Let's hope he finally gets the right punishment. He can't keep getting away with it. His behaviour is unacceptable," she told Mirror.
"I'm being hounded by people saying I'm dragging it up again but I didn't know anything about it. He should have been dealt with six months ago. My son talks about what happened to him every day. He still hasn't had his phone back," Sarah also added. Later, Ronaldo expressed regret to the 14-year-old, but not before being questioned by police under duress over an alleged attack and criminal damage that occurred last month.
Merseyside Police paid to fix the phone, but Sarah thinks the star player should have been charged. Sarah, of Upton, Merseyside, added, "He should have paid for that. He's the one who caused all this. It baffles me – he can assault a child and carry on as normal. How can he sleep at night knowing the distress he has caused to a young fan?" Sarah said Ronaldo had not offered an apology to her or her son.
"He offered us to meet him and said he was sorry but said he had done nothing wrong. That's not an apology, that's an insult," she explained. According to a representative for Merseyside Police, Jacob's phone needed to be mended while the investigation was ongoing. A spokesman added, "The phone was kept until the conclusion of the investigation and will be returned shortly."
On Saturday, April 9, 2022, during Manchester United FC's Premier League match against Everton, Ronaldo was charged with violating FA Rule E3. The FA Rule E3 states “a participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game." It adds they shall not act "in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute."
Additionally, they must refrain from engaging in "any one or a combination of violent activity, significant misconduct, threatening, abusive, indecent, or insulting words or behaviour."