A SOLDIER has been charged with assaulting Mo Bourner, as the injured schoolboy shows signs he is making some slow steps towards recovery.
Ashley Dacosta, a soldier based at Victoria Barracks, Windsor, appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning, accused of assaulting Mo, causing grievous bodily harm, during an alleged incident on Bexhill seafront at the end of October.
Twenty-year-old Dacosta, who hails from Bexhill, has been remanded in custody and will next appear before Lewes Crown Court on Friday March 2, 2012.
The father of former Ninfield Primary pupil Mo has told the Observer how his son has started to show some positive signs of recovery, although he remains seriously ill.
Initially in a coma and on a life support system, Mo has now regained consciousness.
He remains in intensive care at King’s College Hospital, Dulwich, where members of his family have kept a constant vigil by his bedside, but is at last responding to his surroundings.
His father, Peter, a farmer from Hooe, said: “It’s still very early days, and we know that Mo will never be the same again, but it’s turning round from being our worst Christmas ever to one of the best now that he’s showing some signs of getting better.
“At first he didn’t recognise either his mother or me, but recently there were nine of his family and friends around his bed and it was clear he knew all of us. “To me, and to the 12-strong medical team who’ve been looking after him, it’s little short of a miracle.”
Mr Bourner added: “He’s breathing by himself again and when my sister was with him on Tuesday, Mo swallowed for the first time.
“He has been fed through a tube in his nose, but has twice pulled it out because it’s uncomfortable and so doctors are now going to put a peg in his stomach to make it easier for him.
“And he has actually gained three kilogrammes in weight since being admitted to hospital.”
Touchingly, Mo has also written his name and the name of his girlfriend, Paige, on a piece of paper and drawn hearts beside them, and Mr Bourner said: “We’re told there’s a small pocket at the front left of his brain, responsible for communication, that is apparently undamaged.
“The fact that he is trying to express emotions is just amazing.”
Wednesday, marks Mo’s 16th birthday, and Mr Bourner said that with the hospital’s co-operation it was planned to have a party around his bed, with his favourite music, in the hope of further aiding his recovery.
The incident which led to Mo suffering such serious injuries was the subject of a Crimewatch re-enactment on Thursday night.
As a result of the programme, which featured emotional interviews with Mo’s parents, dozens of calls were received with more than 50 pieces of information passed on to police.